There’s a DH, Why No DR?
In his Major League career, Terrance Gore has 43 stolen bases against only 15 hits. Roughly speaking, Gore is three times more as likely to steal a base than it is for him to get a hit.
With getting on base being a condition precedent to a team being able to steal a base, those numbers are shocking. However, when it comes to Gore, it really isn’t. His whole raison d’être is pinch running and stealing bases. It is why the 31 year old has appeared in parts of eight seasons only playing in 107 games.
We all know Gore exists to join the roster late in the season with expanded rosters. He’s there to pinch run in a key spot and steal a base. Teams want to deploy him to do that in the postseason as well. The thing is they just don’t want him at the plate and really aren’t looking for him to play defense.
For the Mets, we saw him pinch run late in games twice against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On both occasions, he not only stole second, but with the catcher so frantic to unleash the throw, he was able to take third on the errant throw. That is game changing. From a pure entertainment perspective, it was exciting to have Gore on the basepaths.
That Terrance Gore speed pic.twitter.com/7NS2BiFdI3
— SNY (@SNYtv) September 17, 2022
This is actually the type of baseball Major League Baseball is seeking to manufacture. In 2023, base sizes are going to expand, and pitchers are going to be limited to the number of pick-off attempts they can make per batter. The hope for baseball is the expansion of stolen base attempts. Of course, none of that is needed when you have a player of Gore’s capability.
Seeing that is the case, why wouldn’t baseball look to implement a Designated Runner like they have a Designated Hitter?
Does it sound dumb and gimmicky? Sure, but that’s the entirety of the existence of the DH. The excuse is pitchers can’t actually hit, so why make them? Wouldn’t it just be better to have a guy in the lineup who is solely there to hit? Supposedly, that creates a more exciting or entertaining brand of baseball.
Turning that logic on its head, who wants to see a player like Daniel Vogelbach run the bases? According to Baseball Savant, he is the 12th slowest player in the majors. His running the bases adds nothing of excitement to the game. He’s not taking that extra base or forcing a good throw from the outfield. He’s not stealing a base or even attempting one.
But Gore? Well, Gore is a human green light. He spends all of his time studying pitchers and their moves. His entire existence is predicated on stealing bases. He knows it. The other teams know it. However, there is only a small two month widow where his genius is allowed in the game.
It is so bizarre Major League Baseball will institute gimmick rule after gimmick rule after gimmick rule to try to generate offense and excitement. Let’s add a DH. Also, the bases need to be bigger and closer together. Fielders can only stand here, and pitchers can only look the runner back or throw over so many times. However, if you dare insinuate the need for a designated runner, they’ll look at you like you’re crazy.
In the end, the question is if you can have Vogelbach at the plate because you don’t want to see pitchers hit, then why can’t you have someone run for him when no one wants to see him run?