HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks to the media during a press conference prior to game four of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The DH coming to the National league seems inevitable. It’s possible that it could be coming sooner than anyone thought. 

The designated hitter coming to the National League has always been a contentious issue. NL fans are split on it and most NL owners are against the very idea. That hasn’t stopped MLB from pushing it for nearly four decades.

With the Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire after 2021, MLB wants to add a DH to the NL. The thought has always been that if it was ever going to happen, 2022 would be the year. Now Jim Bowden of The Athletic is reporting that the DH could arrive as early as 2021.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is of the opinion that major league baseball needs more impact to catch the eye of a younger audience. He believes the games go on too long and that home runs put butts in seats.

That’s why he’s produced a number of rules to increase the speed of the game despite the fact that many of these rules are not being enforced by the umpires. Yet, Manfred wonders why the game time isn’t declining significantly and he adds more rules to quicken the pace.

It’s changing the game of baseball dramatically, with the biggest change coming this year in the form of a three-batter minimum for relief pitchers. It removes bullpen maneuvering from the game and forces managers to make only a select few changes per inning. Likely only two, three at most.

With his changes to quicken the game in full swing, Manfred has set his sights on the home run ball. MLB players have been upset at the ball being used since MLB bought Rawlings in June of 2018. Who can blame them? The home run rates have skyrocketed.

At the end of the 2019 season, MLB’s official juiced ball study revealed the balls weren’t juiced, they just flew father. A fancy way of saying they weren’t juiced, but they were juiced. That way Manfred can continue to use the juiced ball for years to come.

The changes to MLB under Manfred are numerous with more coming at a rapid pace. It seems like the DH in the NL is his next step.

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