MLB players expected to approve universal DH for 2020 season, report says
If there is a 2020 season, it looks like pitchers won't be hitting during it
Major League Baseball and the Players Associationways that would permit them to play a modified 2020 season around the spread of the novel coronavirus. While the two sides still have to figure out the player safety and compensation aspects -- the most important parts of a prospective plan, by any analysis -- it does appear that one smaller item will soon be checked off the proverbial to-do list: the installation of a universal designated hitter across both leagues.
The Players Association is expected to approve the league's proposed DH plan, which would see all teams adopt a designated hitter for the 2020 season, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
Although traditionalists might object, the universal DH is a reasonable arrangement for what has proven to be an unreasonable time. Pitchers will be asked to prepare for a season unlike any they've seen before, with a schedule that could require pitching deeper into the year. Swinging bats and running the bases are a small part of their jobs, but removing those tasks from the equation could spare their bodies some unnecessary wear and tear.
Our own Mike Axisaearlier this week.
The DH will serve other purposes, too, like allowing tired players to get a rest without missing at-bats. That could come in handy if the schedule entails playing six or seven games per week, including scheduled doubleheaders. If the two sides agree on expanded rosters, the DH will also serve as a way to keep certain players fresh who might otherwise rust at the end of the bench.
Don't be surprised if this turns into a long-term development, either. The universal DH has been talked about for years, and the modified season could be the cover MLB has been looking for to send up a trial balloon. Should things go well, this could become the new normal.
CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
By all appearances, players and owners remain far apart in their negotiations
Some strong words from one of the game's biggest stars
MLB and MLBPA are continuing to negotiate, and tensions seem to be rising
MLB will likely have a universal DH and an expanded postseason in 2020
The current tensions between players and owners aren't going away
MLB shared its economic proposal with the MLBPA earlier this week