Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Proposes Hybrid Universal DH

One of the more noteworthy changes that came to Major League Baseball this past season was the implementation of a universal designated hitter.

The new rule was beneficial in that it created more jobs and helped prevent pitcher injuries. However, not everyone was on board with a universal DH, specifically those that prefer the longstanding style of National League baseball.

The addition of a universal DH eliminated the need for pitchers to bat and lessened opportunities for pinch-hitters. Thus, a lot of the strategy that is typically seen in NL games was taken away.

Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman revealed changes to the universal DH are being discussed and he is hopeful to find middle ground between that and traditional NL style of play, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:

“I wish there was some way to figure out how to maintain some strategy to the game while having a DH. There have been some different ideas kicked around that I think are really creative and can kind of solve that with tying the DH to the starting pitcher. So you start with the DH in your lineup and as soon as your starting pitcher comes out of the game, you then lose your DH. So it adds some real strategy to how much you push your starter, whether you double-switch him out.

“There’s a lot of strategy to it. And also where you hit your DH, because then the pitcher’s spot goes into that spot. I think that could provide for a lot of strategy while also limiting the amount of at-bats pitchers are getting.“

The idea Friedman mentioned appears be a fair compromise for those that don’t like the universal DH. Teams would begin with a DH, but lose it as soon as the starting pitcher is removed, adding a strategy element back into games.

The proposal appears to be gaining steam, as former Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black said this week such a format is being discussed as a possibility.

Players Association doesn’t view universal DH as trade

There have been conflicting reports as to whether the universal DH will return next season, but teams are anticipating it will be back following the latest round of talks between league and the Players Association.

While MLB has leveraged the universal DH in exchange for an expanded postseason, the union doesn’t view it as a trade, believing team owners want it to return just as much as the players.

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