Zac Gallen batting injury before A's game means time for universal DH

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Jessica Kleinschmidt
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Gallen injury before A's game shows MLB's need for DH in NL originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Should we or shouldn’t we implement the universal DH in Major League Baseball? The 2020 season was the perfect time to experiment with the rule, but it doesn’t appear that’ll be the case this year, and that’s unfortunate.

Prior to facing the A’s on Monday, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen was scratched from his scheduled start after some lateral soreness in his forearm. The injury occurred due to Gallen swinging a bat during batting practice, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert said.

During spring training, pitchers still are hitting for their respective National League teams. More than likely, this injury could have been avoided if he didn’t have to practice warmup swings and kept to his normal pitching routine.

Since the experiment in 2020, it appeared many were still torn on whether or not they wanted to universally implement the designated hitter position. Opponents usually mention enjoying pitchers hit, but we rarely see a pitcher with a strong batting average.

If you automatically think of Madison Bumgarner, he has slashed .177/.228/.303 in 679 career plate appearances across his 12-year career, with 19 home runs. It’s not bad for a pitcher, but it’s just bad if you take “for a pitcher” out of the equation.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said before he likes that there are two different leagues in MLB. But despite being an old-school guy, he embraced most of the 2020 season's changes.

From a marketing perspective, we know MLB wants more excitement in the game. Having a player whose job is only to hit the ball could do that. No offense (pun slightly intended), but don't expect me to stop what I'm doing to watch a Trevor Bauer at-bat. 

We all know how valuable pitchers are. The less exposure they have to get hurt, the better for MLB.

RELATED: A's Olson drawing praise for Cactus League power surge

Gallen had been getting treatment on his forearm for the past 10 days and added he only feels this soreness when he’s throwing his curveball, a pitch he throws 16.1 percent of the time. 

We don’t know if this injury could carry into the regular season, but it's only going to make the annual DH conversation even more relevant this year.