After finally coming to a decision for the 2020 season, baseball is back for the summer. Under the mandated season by Commissioner Rob Manfred, the season will consist of 60 games, and a designated hitter in the National League. This will be the first time a DH is put in place within the National League and could become a permanent thing once the 2020 season is over. Looking forward into the season, it’s going to be interesting to see who manager Craig Counsell uses as the DH for the Brewers. How could this potentially affect the way the Brewers perform this season? Let’s take a look.
It’s been a sparked question about who Counsell will have penciled in as DH for the crew, but most if not all fingers point towards Ryan Braun. Adding Avisail Garcia to the outfield added another arm, giving the veteran outfielders a chance to have a little bit of a break. Braun had been working first base during spring training (or what we had of it), making it look like he might be a platoon with recently acquired 1B Justin Smoak.
While it gives Counsell more room to play around with the lineup, some fans are pretty bummed about not being able to see their favorite pitchers take the plate. Brewers fans won’t be able to see Brandon Woodruff hit a home run off of Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw ever again with the implementation of the DH. This does however, give pitchers more to focus on their pitching strategies rather than working on batting too. Managers won’t have to worry about writing a starting pitcher’s name within the lineup, and although that’s the case, that doesn’t mean we won’t see a pitcher be a pinch-hitter here and there.
Without pitchers being in the lineup as hitters, this potentially means there could be an offensive boost within the game. With Ryan Braun being the Brewers projected DH, it keeps him on the lineup card. At 36-years-old, Braun can still hit. He had 22 homers and a 116 OPS+ last year, and was recognized for his talents a lot once Yelich went down in September due to a season-ending injury to the knee. Put Braun at DH, Smoak at 1B and Garcia full time in the outfield and the problem is solved. Some other players to possibly consider putting at DH could be Keston Hiura or even Brock Holt. Both players can swing a bat and have powerful hits, so even if they were in the spot of DH, I’m sure the Brewers would be fine.
I don’t really see any negative faults or reasons as to why having a DH in the National League would be a terrible thing. The American League has had it implemented for years and you can see it with the players they’re placing at DH; they can hit a ball. Overall, this is not only going to make fans happy, but it’ll make Counsell’s job easier for determining lineup situations. But, the optimism is there, and I think baseball fans all around are just excited to finally have baseball back in their lives.