Proposal of a "Universal DH" Being Talked About for the 2020 Season, a Rule That Would Benefit the Indians

Matt Loede

Major League Baseball is expected to roll out their first proposal to return to the field on Tuesday, and with it will come a proposal to have a “universal DH” instead of pitchers hitting in 2020.

Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports that MLB and the MLBPA have been chatting about various rule changes for what appears to be an upcoming shortened season to start in July, and one of those rules will be to have a DH in both American League and National League parks.

The report says some of the other more radical rule changes being bantered about include seven-inning doubleheaders and if a game goes 11 innings start with a runner on second base.

There was thought that some of the changes in rules would come about in 2021 or 2022 before the coronavirus shut down the league in mid-March as teams were in the stretch run of spring training.

American League teams already are set when it comes to the DH, so it would be the National League squads that would have to make the proper adjustments.

You can bet that if the rule change does go forward, that a number of NL teams are going to look to add a bat or two via free agency to their roster before the season officially gets underway, with the idea of those players added being potential full-time DH’s for those teams.

A universal DH would benefit the Indians when they play in National League parks, as the team would be able to likely use slugger Franmil Reyes, who likely would be in the role of designated hitter on most nights.

Reyes had dropped about 18 pounds this offseason with the idea of at times playing in right field, and while that still may happen it’s more likely he would spend most gamedays as the DH for the Tribe.