How DH changed the National League

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There was curiosity and excitement when the MLB announced in March that The designated hitter base will expand to include the National League, eliminating the need for shooters to hit themselves. The justification, of course, was simple: pitchers aren’t very good at batting (And it gets worse), and the sport will benefit from fewer automatic teams lining up.

So two months into the season, how does the new rule work? Not surprisingly, National League-designated hitters outperform bowlers at the plate, but formations still lag behind their historical peers by a wide margin, resulting in the lowest cumulative average on base plus sluggers since 2014. Small ball elements of the game, such as hitters and punters , are deteriorating and on the way to extinction. Bryce Harper shows how the new rule can help keep injured attacking stars in the line-up, while the San Diego Padres fail to fill the role with high-quality strokes.

There is still plenty of time this season for the dynamics to shift, and it remains to be seen whether the build-up of the NL roster will change as the season varies entirely to adapt. However, here are some early takeaways after a couple of months with the world hitter designated as a permanent part of the sport.

Offensive numbers have not gone up

Designated NL hitters, as a group, were hitting .241 by .320 on base and .402 lag through June 1. He has had a designated hitter base since 1973. The AL hitters assigned were hitting .28 with .305 on base and .381 slowdown through June 1, giving them an overall lower OPS (.686).

By comparison, pitchers hit 0.108 with 0.285 OPS last season. But while the Global DH clearly improved my attacking in one lineup slot, it probably didn’t have the sweeping effect many expected. The collective OPS count in the NL has decreased this season. why? Hit balls don’t travel very far when contact is strong this season – the ball is on the move four feet less Compared to last year even out of barrels – and there are more pitches outside the area swinging. There have also been fewer four-tier fastballs thrown this season and more dips and shifts, reducing the effectiveness of hitters across the board.

These three teams got the most production from their DHs

The Philadelphia Phillies, using the MVP twice as their DH, are getting the most out of the position. Harper, who was pushed into the inning due to an elbow injury that prevented him from playing on the field, was hitting 336 with 10 home runs, 32 RBI and 0.940 OPS through June 1. modified 56% higher From the average MLB after adjusting for league and park effects. Only the Boston Red Sox are getting better production than designated hitters this season.

The Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates were tied for second place in the establishment of the NL run from the DH slot; Assigned hitters for both teams create runs 17 percent above the major league average.

Padres struggle with particular hitters

The San Diego Padres, on the other hand, see their designated hitters .177 with a .531 OPS this season, making them by far the NL’s behind and the worst group of designated hitters in the majors. They also produce courses that are 41 percent lower than the MLB average after adjusting for league and park effects. This is no small problem for a team with serious post-season aspirations.

The number of hitting and pinching attempts decreased significantly

Despite the relatively lackluster performance by particular hitters, the hitters and pinchers were all but gone. In 1974, donuts made up just over 2 percent of all bats. This year — as in 2020, a season that has been cut short for the pandemic as the global DH rule has also been used — the rabbit rate has fallen to less than 1 percent. Meanwhile, disc hitters have taken 1.1 and 1.3 per game in every season since 1974 — with the exception of 2020 and 2022. In those years with the designated world hitter, hitters have been less than one per game.

As the global designated hitter matures in the NL, we might expect offensive production to improve, but to what extent remains open to debate. If anything, AL should see more offensive improvement than NL, based on results so far compared to expectations. For example, AL hitters should have a cooldown of 0.412 based on their launch angles and exit velocities for each ball put into play this season, but instead have a cooldown of 0.385. Hitters assigned to NL have a slowdown of .401 compared to the expected average of .414.

But in order to see a real change in baseball’s offensive numbers, we may have to wait for some other potential changes in the game, such as the application of a pitch clock, limitations on defensive shifting and larger rules.