MLB agrees to implement long-awaited rule change

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

After weeks of rumors, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has confirmed a crucial rule change for the 2022 season.

The National League will no longer have the batting pitcher, as the Universal Designated Hitter will be implemented.

This way, the American League and the National League will play under the same rules regarding the use of the designated hitter spot.

Many fans have recently been defending pitchers hitting in NL parks because it opens up more opportunities for bunts, strategy, hit-and-run, and other similar games.

They say it’s a long-standing tradition in the NL to have slap pitchers and that’s part of the charm of the game.

It is certainly a valid opinion.

Both teams and players can benefit from the Universal DH

However, teams and players wanted universal DH, and both sides can benefit from it.

Teams will now be able to field another competent hitter in the lineup rather than a pitcher, someone who likely hasn’t trained to be competitive at the plate.

Here’s proof: pitchers hit .110/.150/.142 in 2021, covering 4,829 plate appearances.

They only hit 17 homers.

Most of them went there to make fun of themselves, or just to do nothing and hope to avoid being hit by a pitch.

Yes, there have been some memorable hits and home runs by pitchers, but the vast majority of them just aren’t qualified to hit in the major leagues.

Players will have an extra seat to save game time.

The DH spot extended several careers, including those of Nelson Cruz and JD Martinez, for example.

It also allows teams to preserve the health of some of their injury-prone stars, like Giancarlo Stanton and Yordan Alvarez.

Overall, we can expect offense to increase a bit in the NL now that designated hitters will replace hitters, provided the same baseball is used in 2022.

The universal DH rule was something players had wanted for a while, but owners hadn’t accepted its implementation until now, probably because they were using it as a bargaining chip.

However, Manfred announced his implementation in what could be the toughest moment in the negotiations, with spring training very likely to be pushed back due to the lack of agreement in the collective agreement negotiations ( CBA).

A crucial meeting on Saturday

After a meeting of owners on Thursday, the commissioner confirmed that the league would make basic economic proposals to players on Saturday.

So far, Manfred has said spring training matches are due to start at the end of February, with training camps opening a few weeks before that.

However, for that to happen, substantial progress in the talks would be needed.

Right now, the two sides are simply too far apart on fundamental economic issues, like the minimum wage, the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT, or luxury tax), and compensation for young major leaguers.

There has been talk of a pool to compensate players with 0-3 years of service time who achieve certain finishes in the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) rankings.

Both parties have agreed to the pool, but the players want the owners to put $100 million into the pool and MLB is stuck at $10 million.

Yes, the universal DH rule is nice, but the really important economic issues will be discussed, once again, this weekend, when MLB makes, in Manfred’s words, a “good” offer.

Sports Grp2

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