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Wake Up MLB, Get Rid of Pitchers Hitting

On a late May evening in 2011 San Francisco catcher and budding face of the MLB Buster Posey suffered a season ending injury. Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins barreled Posey at home plate fracturing his fibula and tearing three ligaments in his ankle. The Giants lost the game that night and they lost the 2010 Rookie of the Year for the season.

After this happened there was an immediate rush to change the rules at home plate to prevent this from happening again. Was it because this was the right thing to do? Well, it probably was the right thing to do, but it appeared that on the surface the call for a rule change was only because an elite player was now lost for the season.

In 2010 Indians catcher Carlos Santana was called up from AAA and promptly inserted into the cleanup spot in the order for then manager Manny Acta's lineups. Through 46 games Santana had an OPS+ of 143 (his highest as a professional) with more walks than strikeouts. He was a switch hitting catcher who had elite plate discipline and could hit the ball out of the yard. He was fun to watch every night.

August 2nd of 2010 Ryan Kalish ended his season with one of the dirtiest slides I have ever seen in a MLB baseball game.



Kalish went directly for Santana's left knee and blew him up. Granted Santana was in a horrible position to absorb a hit but this was a dirty slide. But you never heard anything about this play being dirty. Why? Because Santana wasn't the reigning Rookie of the Year, that's why. It took an injury to a player that mattered to the league (Posey) for them to start a dialog about making a rule change that is now being dubbed the "Posey Rule".

On Saturday St. Louis Cardnials Ace Adam Wainwright suffered a potentially season ending injury to his ankle/achillies running out of the box after popping up a pitch. Wainwright is what I would consider a star in baseball. On Sunday Max Scherzer made some interesting comments to the media about his feeling on pitchers hitting in the National League. He stated that he would be an advocate of DH's in both league. He even went as far to say that it makes more sense from a macro standpoint to not have pitchers hit. I could not agree more. 

When Posey suffered his injury his agent Jeff Berry was at the forefront calling for a rule change. Joe Torre, a catcher, was part of the MLB rules committee that drafted and implemented the now Posey Rule. I have to wonder that now with Scherzer's comments, the amount of money that pitchers are paid to pitch (they are not paid to hit), the fragility of the MLB pitching arm and the fact that an All Star was injured hitting that the talks of having a DH in the NL will at least be tabled in the upcoming years as a real possibility. Not to mention that by not allowing pitchers to hit this would actually be a way to add scoring to the league. 

I think if everyone in baseball really looked at this from a practicable point of view, this is a change that has to happen. It isn't fair to the teams in the American League because their pitchers do not hit. It is equally unfair to the NL teams because the position players never get the "DH day off" games. 

Purists be damned, MLB has added replay challenges, home run reviews, the "Posey Rule" and now these speed up the game rules. Isn't it time to do something that we help increase offense and not add to the laundry list of injuries that can happen to an MLB pitcher.
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