National League could adopt the DH soon

04/04/2013 11:53 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

A DH in the NL will eliminate the possibility of events like ace Clayton Kershaw's homer earlier this week.(AP)
The designated hitter could be coming to the National League.

As reported by The USA Today, many baseball insiders believe the NL will adopt the DH soon, possibly after commissioner Bud Selig retires in 2014. The American League first created the DH in 1973 and the switch to season-long Interleague play has reignited the conversation about aligning the rules in Major League Baseball's two leagues. 

For the first time in Major League Baseball history, Interleague play got underway during the opening series of the season when the Cincinnati Reds hosted the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week. The Houston Astros' move into the AL for the 2013 season gives both leagues 15 teams thereby necessitating season-long Interleague play.

Team executives have noted the timing of this season's Interleague games will help determine a team's fate.

When the San Francisco Giants visit the New York Yankees in late September, they will be able to use the expanded roster to help extend their lineup, including possibly trading for a player just for that series to DH -- a luxury other NL teams won't have earlier in the season.

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein thinks the move to the DH across baseball is imminent.

"I think we're going to see the DH in the National League," he said. "Hopefully we're just a few years away."

Baseball purists have long opposed the DH, noting that it removes an element of strategy from the game. Count Reds manager Dusty Baker in the purists' camp.

"The American League is built on offense, so you have to have better pitching. Everybody in the American League can hit. They're built to hit. But I don't want everybody to have a DH. It takes away the strategy of our league."

Interleague play debuted in 1997. The AL leads the NL 2,083-1,884 in the all-time series. comments