What will the Miami Marlins do if changes to the 2020 MLB season are approved by the Players’ Association?
And here we go. With the new proposal of a universal designated hitter for both the American and National League this season and potentially beyond, Major League Baseball will forever be changed as we know it. For the Miami Marlins and other teams in the National League, it means a greater concentration on hitting and the elimination of the delicacy of the pitcher possibly “helping his cause.”
Still, there is plenty to be worked out before everything becomes finalized for the 2020 season.
“A universal designated hitter rule is expected to be approved by MLB players as part of a proposal from the league to start the season, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman,” writes Elizabeth Swinton of Sports Illustrated.
The designated hitter has been used by the American League since 1973.
This isn’t unexpected as it has been a topic of conversation for years that has heated up even more since the work stoppage due to the threat of the Coronavirus. With a proposal of an 82-game schedule in front of the players now that the owners have agreed to the offerings from the league office, fans must wait and see what happens next.
In reality, there is some suspense to the players agreeing to what the owners and MLB are offering on the table so that baseball can resume in June with games that matter beginning in July.
As part of the proposal the League office sent to all owners, the following items were presented,.
- 82-game regional schedule and universal DH
- 30-man active rosters with a 20-player taxi squad
- 14 teams in the postseason with games played in home cities in October
- 50/50 revenue split for players and owners
Player safety is the most important part of the negotiations before ballparks are opened and hitters are swinging for the fences once again. MLB is in a situation where it can tinker with this season as a barometer for what happens in 2021 and beyond. The use of the designated hitter, although something I personally am opposed to, makes sense to be offered this season unlike in years past.
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There are also other items that will be discussed by both sides in regard to one of the more interesting seasons in League history. And because of the shortened season and the opportunity, it presents to small-budget teams like the Miami Marlins, anything could be possible. It would seem everyone is in “win now” mode as every game will have meaning and the long hot summer becomes a race to the finish in the fall.
The expanded rosters for all teams means there will be many new faces making their Major League debuts, potentially sooner than expected.
“In an effort to limit travel and essentially isolate teams geographically, clubs could play 82-game regional schedules,” CBS Sports reports. “The two East divisions would play each other, the two Central divisions would play each other, and the two West divisions would play each other. The two-league, six-division format would remain, though the increase in interleague games necessitate a universal DH. The universal DH would also protect pitchers. MLB and the MLBPA are worried about increased injury risk following the shutdown.”
An extra batter in the lineup would certainly benefit the Marlins as they have had issues in recent years scoring runs and going yard. The team hit just 146 home runs in 2019. They were second to last in runs scored. It also means with an expanded roster, rookies could stand a better chance of making their Major League debuts this summer. It could also mean this franchise seeks another power bat.
Remember, Yasiel Puig has yet to sign a free-agent deal this offseason.
When planning his roster, how will manager Don Mattingly look to secure the rotation and the bullpen? It seems that four of the five spots in the rotation have been filled. Could Mattingly use a six-man rotation? How will he fill the final roster spots, knowing he needs another big bat in the middle of the lineup?
The strategy changes from the first day the Marlins get back on the field.