Spending his entire MLB career in the American League, Justin Verlander has only picked up a bat in interleague games and the World Series.
On Monday, his pitching side took over.
Speaking in Washington in advance of Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Verlander said that he thinks the league should eliminate the designated hitter altogether.
“I would take the DH out, even though I know the National League is talking about implementing the designated hitter,” Verlander said, per USA Today. “For my pitching purposes, it’s fun to face guys like me who can’t hit. But I do think, for instance when we were in the World Series, the Houston Astros are playing the Dodgers, when we are at Dodger Stadium, we were a little behind. We were not used to hitting, bunting and things like that.”
Verlander made his major league debut with Detroit in 2005 and remained there until his trade to Houston last Aug. 31. He’s a seven-time All-Star and the 2011 winner of both the AL Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.
At the plate, however, he is a career .111 batter (five singles in 45 at-bats). He has one RBI in his career. He had three at-bats against the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, striking out each time.
“When you’re playing a championship, that determines the best team in the world, it should be an even playing field. It’s the only sport like that with different sets of rules in different leagues,” Verlander said.
He then addressed the NL’s potential plan to adopt the DH, and his comments are likely to raise some eyebrows in Houston.
“I like the game with no DH, personally. But who knows, one day I might be in the National League, so maybe they can keep it out of that league for a while.”
Verlander can become a free agent after the 2019 season.
—Field Level Media