For the first time in history, the designated hitter was universal throughout MLB.
The change was made while the MLB season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, kick-starting what many seemed to be the inevitable.
Dominic Smith was a fan.
“I know a lot of true, die-hard NL fans are gonna beg to differ... Talking to other guys around the league, playing in the NL against other teams, we all loved it," said Smith on the R2C2 podcast with former Yankee CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco.
One of the biggest reasons why Smith wants to keep the DH in the National League is so players can get true off-days, mentally and physically.
"Especially being an every day guy, we don’t get days off in the NL with the old rules. Once the pitcher comes out, it ruins your day off… If the pitcher is struggling through three innings, four innings, now you’re going into a double switch, so mentally, you never have a mental break playing in the NL.
"If we adopt the DH, guys can get more days off mentally and physically, and at the same time, they can get a DH day which is kind of like a day off, too, as well. You get to rest your body even more," Smith said. "I think it just benefits everybody. Keeps the pitchers healthy… they can just focus on pitching… They’d rather just go out there and strike out guys… It’s a win-win for us and the league."
Smith had his best offensive season in 2020 while DHing on some occasions - he set career highs in average (.316), slugging percentage (.616), on-base percentage (.377), home runs (10), RBI (42), doubles (21), and hits (56) while playing in just 50 out of a possible 60 games. Smith finished in 13th place in the NL MVP voting.