The universal DH rule is a blessing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who already struggle offensively, here’s why.
With the designated hitter coming to the National League full-time this season fans have to be wondering who the Pittsburgh Pirates will use as their DH. As well as how they would use the position.
In free agency the Pirates signed DH/1B Daniel Vogelbach, who would most likely be the number one choice for the DH spot when he isn’t playing on the field because the Pirates are struggling with first base depth as only three are rostered under the current depth chart.
The Pirates will also rotate players at that position, but the DH spot, at times, could be used by prospects who come up so the team can see what they have offensively going right. For example, one of Pittsburgh’s top prospects is on a hot streak and the team thinks he’s ready to come up, he then becomes the DH without having to play in the field, see how he adjusts, and we would then see what happens with that. There is another reason why this is great for the Pirates, but it won’t showcase for a while.
There is now a rule that is dubbed as the “Shohei Ohtani Rule.” The rule makes it so if the starting pitcher is the DH he can remain in the lineup if he gets pulled from the game. The Pirates have a two-way player in 2021 third-round selection Bubba Chandler, who plays shortstop as well as pitches.
Although Chandler isn’t expected to reach the majors until 2025, the rule will be in effect throughout the life of the current CBA, which is five years. So if Bubba reaches the majors in time and is still a two-way player, the Pittsburgh Pirates can have him in the everyday lineup and hopefully provide a spark both on the mound and in the box.
Hopefully, the Pittsburgh Pirates can find a few solid DH options to start the season, I would love to see Oneil Cruz open the season with the Pirates as much as any fan of the team would, even if he isn’t playing the shortstop position. The Pirates do have some options at DH who are currently on the roster for spring training, but it would be fun to see some highly-rated prospects come up during the season and see if they play well enough to stay.