Word from the Commish's mouth says the NL may become more similar to the Arena League.
Rob Manfred, fresh off of two days of ownership meetings speculated that the National League may be open to implementing the designated hitter, possibly as soon as 2017. According to Manfred, the idea of a designated hitter taking over our favorite position in the batting order is "gaining momentum."
Twenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, you'd think you were talking some sort of heretical comment. But we have a newer group. There has been turnover, and I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways that we think would be good for the fans, always respecting the history and traditions of the sport.
While owners themselves haven't commented on the possibility of the DH to the NL, it's expected to become a topic of conversation when the current collective bargaining agreement goes up for renewal on December 31st, 2016.
Why tarnish the National League with the designated hitter? Simply put, the DH pays. The player's union would definitely be on board with opening up more high-paying positions for its constituents. Such a move would also preserve pitchers from the perils of stepping up to bat and the random assortment of oblique and leg injuries that come with batting and running the bases.
Naturally, such a move also has its pros and cons for our Padres. We would lose out on some excellent Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner at-bats. Ross as a batter actually has better exit velocity on his hits than most players in the league, above notable sluggers such as Paul Goldschmidt and Yoenis Cespedes. Outside of that, we would lose the most charming part of classic baseball: the pitcher hitting. Even though it may commonly be an easy out, fans of the NL have seen some excellent plays stemming from a pitcher hitting a clutch single or a squeeze bunt.
There's pros to having a DH instead of a pitcher hitting? For the Pads, there is: Matt Kemp would finally have a proper place on the team.
Let's hope these rumors are just rumors and we can retain the classic baseball we're used to watching.