The MLB Players Association is proposing that the National League should adopt the designated hitter full-time beginning this season, and that proposal is one of many that could have a big impact on the Chicago Cubs.
The proposal was one of many made by the MLBPA in response to a list of potential rule changes submitted by the league this month. The rule change is part of a growing list of ideas that the league and players are exploring to help quicken the pace of play in games.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has also proposed a 20-second pitch clock and a reduction of mound visits from six to five in games as part of the effort.
It is unclear whether these changes, including the addition of the designated hitter, will occur this season, but momentum is clearly gaining for the rules to be adopted in the future.
The Cubs would seem to be in a position where they would embrace such a rule change, as they have players like Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ that would likely benefit from getting chances to get into the lineup on a more regular basis.
Another rule change that is being floated would certainly be less popular for Joe Maddon and company. According to The Associated Press, the league is considering a rule that would enforce a three-batter minimum for starting pitchers and relief pitchers to help speed up the pace of play.
That rule change would get rid of some of the maneuvers that managers have taken to using in the past few seasons, with pitchers facing only one batter and then departing the game.
Negotiations remain ongoing as the union and owners try to reach agreement on the proposals.