Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cincinnati 5-to-4.
Unlike the rest of my articles, I am not writing about the game. Oh yes, the Dodgers had great pitching, and Chris Taylor and Michael Busch, a new Dodger from the 2020 Amateur Draft, homered.
Unlike in 2020, the National League will not have the designated hitter. This will lessen offensive production. While most National League teams were not designed to use the DH so that they did not benefit from the new rule, the Dodgers did in 2020.
After not hitting for a season, the National League pitchers must hit during the 2021 season. With the improved pitching, the pitchers will not perform well at-bat. Not most people can hit a 95+-per-hour fastball. Over the years, the offensive contributions by pitchers have declined.
I delighted watching Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser contributing to the offense. I loved when Hyun-Jin Ryu hit a home run in September 2019. However, I am a convert to believing every baseball league should have a DH.
First, having a DH lessens the chance of injury. When a pitcher hits, he can be hit by a pitch. He can pull a dreaded oblique when he swings, especially wildly, at a pitch. Even when a pitcher bunts, he can injure his leg while running to first base. A leg injury can keep a pitcher out at least three weeks, and if he tries to pitch with a minor leg injury, he can injure his arm seriously. In 2021 when everyone is worried about pitchers’ health after playing only sixty games the previous year, not having a DH in both leagues is a major mistake.
Second, the popularity of baseball is dwindling. The game is slow to the younger generation who has played video games most of their lives. People like to see offense. Major League Baseball has announced they have deadened the baseball to limit the number of home runs. While the pitchers are rejoicing about this, most baseball fans are groaning. Having a pitcher hit lets the opposing pitcher escape route if the team is rallying. This is not good when fans like to see the teams generate runs.
Brusdar Graterol has not performed in a game yet this spring. For some reason, he cannot throw as much as he wanted to in Venezuela. He is close to appearing in a game, and with three weeks until Opening Day, he should be ready.
Keibert Ruiz is finally in Camelback Ranch. He had visa problems preventing from him traveling from Venezuela to the United States. He has kept himself in great shape. He should be in a game this weekend.
After having shoulder surgery in November, Cody Bellinger is progressing well. Tomorrow, he will face live batting practice for the first time this spring. If everything goes well, Bellinger should appear in an exhibition game next Monday.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021