OK. I know I’m dreaming.
I mean, what a wonderful world. What a utopian fantasy. To have a real hitter like Zack Greinke hitting in the nine hole instead of the automatic out that resides there now.
It seems to good to be true.
But possibly, just maybe, if we Astros fans unite our hearts and minds towards a common purpose to effect real change in this world, we can make this dream a reality.
Unfortunately, as the rule currently stands, our mighty DH, Yordan Alvarez, can only hit for the pitcher, and no one else. For Astros fans this means that our worst hitter, the catcher, stays in the lineup, while one of the best hitters on the team just sits on the bench, blowing bubbles.
Try to imagine a better world, one where Alvarez hits for our catcher, and Zack Greinke fulfills his destiny as not just one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, but one of the greatest hitters. Like back in the good old days when Zack played in the National League.
Like in 2013, when Greinke’s wRC+ was 132, that is, 32% better than the average hitter in baseball. His OFFENSIVE fWAR that year was 1.3...in 72 PA’s.
Or as recently as 2019, when his wRC+ was 122, and his offensive WAR was 1.0 in 56 PA’s.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a bat like that at #9 to extend the current Astros’ lineup. In 2019 Greinke slashed.280/.308/.580. That’s an .888 OPS! Why, that would make Zack Greinke the second best hitter on the current Astros squad. He had as many home runs in 58 PA’s that year as Yordan Alvarez has had this year in 85.
If only the DH could replace the catcher and not just the pitcher.
Because this year the Astros catcher is Martin Maldonado.
How bad is Martin Maldonado?
This bad. For Martin Maldonado to reach the legendary Mendoza line, the gold standard for batting awfulness, he would have to more than double his batting average.
This is the Maldonado slash line:
.098/.179/.148. OPS .327.
This is the career Greinke slash line.
.225/.263/337. OPS .600.
Why, that OPS is almost twice that of Maldonado’s. It’s almost as high as Jose Altuve’s current OPS.
But really, we don’t even need an elite hitting pitcher like Greinke to replace Maldonado’s bat in the lineup. Even an average hitting pitcher could do almost as well. In the NL this year, the average pitcher’s OPS is .271.
The average NL pitcher strikes out 47.4% of PA’s. Maldonado has struck out 40.3% of his PA’s this year.
Why, it’s almost like the Astros are playing in the American League by National League rules.
What sane person can possibly argue that the DH should only apply to the pitcher when you have a position player like Maldonado making an automatic out in every ninth at bat in the lineup?
So if baseball is really serious about making the game more exciting, we beg you, Mr Commissioner, as a proven friend of the Astros, to allow the designated hitter to replace the catcher, not just the pitcher.
Not just for the long suffering fans at Minute Maid Park, by the way. But for all the fans throughout the American League who have to suffer the boring AL version of the National League’s automatic out.
No normal human can tolerate such mind-numbing boredom. Mr. Commissioner, for the love of the game, think about the plummeting tickets sales in games when Maldonado is playing.
For the love of humanity, Mr Commisioner, think about the TV ratings. Think about all the disgusted fans who get up during Maldonado’s at bat, AND NEVER COME BACK TO THE SCREEN.
For their whole lives!
After watching a Maldonado at bat, how many fans CANCEL THEIR SUBSCRIPTION TO MLB TV?
How many children become SOCCER FANS?
Something must be done.
Mr Commisioner, show the boldness and creativity that has marked your tenure as baseball’s Fearless Leader. We, the undersigned, petition you to allow the designated hitter to replace the catcher.
Bring excitement back to baseball.
Down with catchers flailing at air.
Down with catchers failing at sacrifice bunts.
Down with catchers standing there watching strike three right down the middle.
If we need a pitcher’s bat to bring excitement to Astros games, so be it.
Liberate Zack Greinke.
Make baseball fun again.
Do you favor changing baseball’s rules to allow Yordan Alvarez to DH for Martin Maldonado when Zack Greinke is pitching?
This poll is closed
P.S. I love Martin Maldonado and we all know his defensive value. But after spending April watching his struggles at the plate, I had to let off a little steam. It’s all in good fun. I’m sure he’ll find his stroke again. Right?