dan vogelbach cubsOne factor often ignored in the ongoing DH in the NL debate is the status of DH’ing in the minors. Many, not all, but many of the minor league leagues use the DH. Many pitchers in National League farm systems do not see live pitching in games. This could lead to somewhat of a chicken-egg problem. Are NL pitchers bad at hitting because they are bad, or are they bad at hitting because they do not practice it consistently while they are in the minors?

From my perspective, the answer is a nice meaty omelet. Regardless which way the causal arrow points, the DH needs to arrive in every professional league. I prefer the game without it, but that’s a small thing on which to make a decision. Minor league games featuring the DH are not significantly less fun to watch than minor league games without the DH, so I am fairly confident the upside outweighs the costs.

Besides, every once in awhile I let my rationality go and start imagine a lineup in Wrigley that features Rizzo and Soler and Shoulders and Vogelbach and Candelario. That is not likely to happen (though it makes a great daydream), but it simply can’t happen at all until the DH makes it to the NL.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Cubs suffered from a chronic lack of offense in this 4-1 loss.
Tennessee – The Smokies gave up three runs in the ninth and lost 4-3.
Daytona – The big bats went silent and Daytona was shut out 3-0.
Kane County – Rain caused a postponement in Peoria. Kane County will make up this game as part of a doubleheader on May 16.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] I hope you aren’t tired of hearing about Logan Watkins. He went 1 for 2 with two more walks in this one. His OBP is a remarkable .395. Why remarkable? Because he is only hitting .233.
  • [Iowa] Casey Coleman looked good out of the bullpen yet again. He struck out the side in the seventh and dropped his ERA down to 3.60 in the process.

  • [Tennessee] The Smokies got a gem of a start from Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks, who came to the Cubs in the Dempster trade, struck out 9, allowed 3 hits, and walked no one in seven innigs of work. It was easily his best start of the season.
  • [Tennessee] Zach Rosscup strikes again. He struck out the side for the Smokies and now has 16 Ks in just 9 innings.
  • [Daytona] He went 0 for 3, but that is not the big story for Javier Baez. The real news is that Baez drew a walk. And it was the only walk Daytona had all day.
  • [Daytona] Frank Del Valle had a fairly dominant outing himself. He picked the final five outs, four of them thanks to the K. Even better, he inherited two runners when he entered the game, and he successfully stranded them both. The only blemish is the one walk he allowed.

Other News

  • Watkins is not the only candidate to be the Cubs Lead Off Man of the Future. Matt Szczur has put together a nice line of .297/.365/.432 with 7 steals and 2 home runs for Tennessee. Even though Watkins still has the higher OPS, that line should be good enough to send Szczur off to Iowa in the not too distant future.

  • Matt Garza had been scheduled to pitch for the Smokies today. That is off. The Cubs hope it’s just a case of dead arm.

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