With interleague baseball being stretched over the course of the entire MLB schedule, the debate over whether the designated hitter should be introduced in the National League has never been hotter.
St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, who usually dismisses the notion of adding the DH to the NL, believes there is now "more momentum" for the idea.
"I do feel like there were times I could look all of you in the face and say it’s a non-starter, it’s not being discussed at the owner level or GM," Mozeliak said during the Cardinals’ 20th annual fanfest, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "But over the past year it has. I’m not suggesting you’re going to see a change but I definitely think the momentum (has changed)."
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Despite more talk of adding the DH to the NL, implementing the rule before the start of the 2017 season would be a "little fast" according to Mozeliak.
One of the best reasons for individuals supporting the idea of adding the DH to the NL — other than pitchers typically aren’t good hitters — is the greater risk of injury by stepping into the batter’s box for pitchers. The Cardinals would seem to be one of the movement’s best supporters due to their own ace, Adam Wainwright, rupturing his Achilles’ tendon running out of the batters’ box, resulting in the pitcher missing a lot of the 2015 season. However, Mozeliak’s view of stepping away from the NL’s traditional style of baseball remains unchanged, he said, as he could have easier had the same injury coming off the pitcher’s mound.
Despite Mozeliak wanting to keep the status quo, he would now be more in "favor" of adding the DH to all of baseball, should there be a greater push to add the position by owners.
"Teams that don’t have a DH aren’t really in favor of playing more games with the DH because it’s a roster disadvantage," Mozeliak said. "That’s just not something from the National League standpoint that makes a whole lot of sense at the moment. I still think [Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr.] would be someone more in favor of the pitcher hitting. That’s not to say that we would not be open-minded to it if there was a big swell to push."