Says Jayson Stark of TheAthletic.com:
Did you know the designated-hitter rule has been around in the American League for nearly 50 seasons now? So apparently, this isn’t going to be a short-term fad. In fact, it’s hard to find anyone in the game who
doesn’t believe that one of these years — possibly as soon as 2022, once the new labor deal is done — every team will be writing a DH into its lineup.
But wait! Here’s one possible wrinkle that has been kicked around in behind-the-scene brainstorming sessions: How about a rule that would allow teams to use their DH only as long as their starting pitcher remained in the game? Then, once the starting pitcher exited, that game would revert to old-school rules.
The more we think about this idea, the more we like it. Starting pitchers would no longer hit, which would eliminate some teams’ injury paranoia. It would create incentives to keep starters in the game longer, which could lead to more offense. And it would preserve some elements of late-inning managerial strategy that fans of “NL rules” still love.