Give the NL a DH to even the playing field
The argument that the National League should adopt the designated hitter to help pitchers avoid injury is weak, at least when considered in a vacuum.
The biggest threat to the health of pitchers is not hitting or running the bases but pitching. What happened to Adam Wainwright, while unfortunate, is rather rare.
I favor the DH in both leagues for reasons that go beyond the risk of pitchers getting hurt, beyond the fact that most pitchers cannot hit, beyond the potential to boost offense by adding another hitter to NL lineups.
This is about leveling the playing field.
Interleague play is necessary on every day of the season, thanks to the creation of two 15-team leagues in 2013. The lack of a DH in the NL creates inequities not just in the actual competition but also in roster construction.
Many American League teams employ a rotating DH, enabling them to rest their everyday players. AL teams also hold a distinct advantage in acquiring position players – those teams can grab sluggers such as Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and even Robinson Cano, knowing that such hitters eventually can serve as DHs.
Commissioner Rob Manfred told the New York Times that he never has had “a moment of dissonance” over the different rules in the two leagues. But a sport that talks so much about competitive balance should not allow such an obvious imbalance to continue.
How’s that for an argument?