While there might be less games if and when a 2020 MLB season finally gets started, there has the potential to be more offense.
According to a report in The Athletic, the MLB Players’ Association has been in discussion with teams about using the designated hitter in the National League, at least for the 2020 season. The report says both parties are open to “unorthodox ideas” if the season gets underway.
According to the latest reports, spring training could restart at some point in June, with a shortened season to start in early July. The season could consist of anywhere from 78 to 82 games with an expanded playoff field.
While the American League instituted the designated hitter in 1973, the NL has declined to use the offensive tool — in regular-season games involving two NL clubs — where the pitcher, or other player, could be substituted during at-bats.
The report indicates that baseball executives were already considering the addition of the DH in the NL during the 2021 or 2022 seasons but would be willing to implement the change even earlier.
Because of roster construction, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers are considered to be teams that would benefit the most from the universal DH if implemented in 2020 on short notice, the report indicated.