Petco-Park.  Photo by Chris Stone
Petco Park. Photo by Chris Stone

The idea of adding a designated hitter to the National League is beginning to gain some momentum, according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred who spoke from the owners meetings in Florida Thursday.

The league’s collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2016 season and the idea of adding the DH is expected to be a hot topic of conversation.

“Twenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, you’d think you were talking some sort of heretical comment,” Manfred said per “But we have a newer group. There has been turnover, and I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways that we think would be good for the fans, always respecting the history and traditions of the sport.”

The American League adopted the designated hitter in 1973 after a collective MLB average of .244 in 1972. Last season, major league hitters had a combined average of .251 — the lowest since 1972.

There is still some resistance from National League owners who want to maintain the “purity” of the game by having the pitchers hit, according to the ESPN report.

Adding a designated hitter to the National League could be desirable for players, because it opens up another high-salary position on each  roster.

Tyson Ross led all San Diego Padres pitchers with 14 hits last season and was the only pitcher on the team to hit a home run.

His 14 hits were the fourth most out of National League pitchers in 2015.