Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mozeliak Says 'More Momentum' for DH in National League

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mozeliak Says 'More Momentum' for DH in National League

Article excerpt

An annual question Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak faces from the fans at Winter Warm-Up is whether the designated hitter is about to intrude on the National League. He usually dismisses the notion as a "non-starter," and his answer hadn't changed in his nine previous Warm-Ups as GM.

It did Saturday.

He said there's "more momentum" for the DH in the NL.

"I do feel like there were times I could look all of you in the face and say it's a non-starter, it's not being discussed at the owner level or GM," Mozeliak said Saturday during an expansive discussion with the media at the team's 20th annual fanfest. "But over the past year it has. I'm not suggesting you're going to see a change but I definitely think the momentum (has changed)."

Mozeliak's comments echoes similar ones made this past spring by Major League Baseball Players' Association chief Tony Clark, who said he has heard more discussion about the DH spreading to the NL than in years past. The chatter comes at an opportune time for the DH advocates as baseball enters the final year of its current Collective Bargaining Agreement between owners and players. Negotiations on a new deal will thread through this season as the current CBA is set to expire in December.

Mozeliak said moving the DH into the NL by the start of 2017 "would seem to me a little fast." There have been discussions of slowly introducing the DH to the National League by having it for interleague games played at NL ballparks.

Possible motivation for breaking from NL tradition and not having the pitchers hit is the decline of offense throughout baseball and, Mozeliak acknowledged, the injury concern for pitchers. He said Adam Wainwright rupturing his Achilles' tendon running out of the batter's box has not influenced his view of the risks of pitchers hitting because Wainwright could have had a similar injury stepping off the mound or down the dugout steps.

While Mozeliak's answer to the question has changed, he said his and chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. …

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