Rumors are swirling that the National League could implement a designated hitter rule as early as 2021. How would this impact the Milwaukee Brewers roster?
The 2019 Milwaukee Brewers were built like a team that needed a DH. The 2019 roster featured Jesus Aguilar, Eric Thames, and Ryan Braun. All three could hit, and none should win a gold glove any time soon. However, it looks like the Brewers were at least two years early.
It’s been rumored that the National League could adopt a designated hitter rule as soon as 2021. How would this potentially impact the Brewers’ roster?
How real are the ‘DH rule in the NL’ rumors?
The rumors are real enough that Jim Bowden tweeted about it. He did add a ‘for what it’s worth’ to his tweet, but GMs would likely be in the know before just about anyone else.
How would a DH rule impact the Brewers in 2021?
Braun was talking about retirement after the 2020 season as recently as this past weekend. A DH rule in the National League could be enough to keep Braun with the Brewers for another year or two.
Braun can still hit for power and get on base. A chance to do that without the day-to-day grind of playing in the field would allow Braun to contribute to a Major League team without having to worry about health maintenance as much as he does now.
If Braun does truly decide to hang ’em up after 2020, the Brewers will have Justin Smoak on the roster through 2021, and could choose to transition him into a full-time or part-time DH role.
The team could also allow Keston Hiura to transition to a DH role if his glove at second base becomes a bigger liability. Hiura was good enough at second base in 2019, but Luis Urias could fill in at the keystone and allow Hiura to do what he does best at DH.
The Brewers also have an option on Jedd Gyorko for 2021. He could pick up at-bats at DH as well.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in a good position if the National League finally adopts a DH rule in 2021. The team has a ton of options, and can still maintain their flexibility while giving another 600+ plate appearances to a professional hitter.