First off I don't want the DH. I thoroughly oppose it.
The fight against it is a worth engaging but will ultimately prove futile.
So if we're stuck with a DH is there a way to make it less vile?
How about the force-fed DH is used for anyone BUT the pitcher?
Pitcher hits. DH hits. Your best glove/weakest bat combo only plays the field. For the pitcher to remain in the game he must take his turn at-bat.
It means you'd have:
Better defense. You could carry Rey Ordonez if you had Lucas Duda hitting for him. So you've got better defense at SS AND in LF. And you get to watch say Baxter instead of Duda chasing fly balls.
- Better offense. You're replacing Rey Ordonez bat with that of your non-Duda LFer in our example Baxter. Not a massive upgrade on this current squad but there's potential for that swap to be meaningful.
- NL strategy. The pitcher must hit to stay in the game so the manager still faces a tough choice in a late inning scoreless game when the pitcher's spot comes up. Do you pinch hit for him or let him try to pull a Dae-Sung Koo.
No it's not better than the current NL setup of no DH but it might be an improvement over the AL abomination. And if the DH is inevitable wouldn't it keep some of the old NL flavor?
It'll never happen because of all the hand-wringing over pitcher's hitting . . . but I'd rather have this DH than the current one.