NL to Adopt DH – Not if the Padres Tyson Ross has a Say

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Jun 20, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross (38) celebrates with catcher Austin Hedges (18) after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross (38) celebrates with catcher Austin Hedges (18) after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Over the last several years, more talk has been building about the National League adopting the Designated Hitter like their American League counterparts did in 1973. Would this help or hurt the Padres right now? Tyson Ross for one would not be a fan, unless he himself was the DH.

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Cardinals GM was recently asked about it and had this to say about any imminent change:

"“I get that question every year here, and I do feel like there were times I could look all of you in the face and say, ‘That’s a non-starter; it’s not being discussed at owner level or GM.’ But over the last year, it has. I’m not suggesting or saying you’re going to see a change. But I definitely think the momentum of having down offense at the Major League level is something that people are starting to consider — if [a universal DH] might help. And also perhaps looking at injury risk.”"

So that is a lot of words to say it isn’t really being talked about, but it might be. Of course the National League not having the DH is the last remnant of the American and National Leagues being two separate entities united under one MLB umbrella. The American and National Leagues were separate business entities until after the 1999 season when they were merged. As inter-league play has gained steam since 2013 inter-league play is now just a regular part of the schedule.

Mike Petriello of MLB.com put together a fun article which points out that Tyson Ross had an incredible exit velocity while hitting last year. In fact, he hit the ball harder than he pitched the ball last season. He is quick to point out that it is a small sample size, but in that size he had an average exit velocity of 93.5 MPH, ahead of stars like Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Davis. He actually led all pitchers in exit velocity last year, narrowly beating out teammate James Shields at 90.6 MPH.

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At this point, it seems like many players, managers and fans are in favor of keeping the DH out of the National League. However, when pitchers like Adam Wainwright get hurt last year while hitting, the question is always bound to come up. Don’t tell Madison Bumgarmer, who hit 5 home runs last season alone including after hitting 4 the previous year. He is still looking for his first career post-season hit, about the only “first” he still needs in the post-season.

Speaking of Adam Wainwright, I think he said it most authority when asked about the NL switching to a DH after his own near season-ending injury:

“Baseball, the strategy and the game itself in the National League is just a better game, in my opinion. I hope that people don’t look at this — which I know they already are — and think that we should switch to a DH now. Baseball is a beautiful game. I just hope it doesn’t change too much.”

Well said Adam, well said. Watch for more Tyson Ross bombs in 2016 at Petco Park.

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