Chicago Cubs: What would this look like at Wrigley Field?
This idea of the designated hitter in the National League is something Chicago Cubs fans should embrace. The way Theo Epstein has constructed this version of the Cubs has created versatility, flexibility and tons of depth.
With a DH for part of the game, that same depth and flexibility he has created for an NL style game would only serve to highlight just how good the Cubs’ young core is, allowing guys like Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber to get consistent at-bats while still allowing for Joe Maddon‘s mad scientist antics in lineup construction, positional placement and giving guys the rest they need.
If any club were prepared for this type of hybrid designated hitter scenario, it would be the Chicago Cubs. Joe Maddon‘s lineup construction, as well as the current Cubs’ roster construction, is such that it would benefit the club more than most other National League teams.
Imagine a scenario where this idea comes to fruition and Kyle Schwarber is your DH (although I’m very aware he’s just fine in left field) for the first five innings. When Yu Darvish comes out of the game (Yes, hopefully, he is pitching), Maddon is forced to either lose Schwarber for the rest of the game (which he already does many times now with a defensive switch) or double switch him to left field and lose whoever is out there.
Seems like the Cubs are inherently and specifically designed for something like this. It also seems like Maddon would be just the type of manager suited for playing under these conditions and rules. Maybe someone could ask him what he thinks about Showalter’s idea?
Better yet, maybe someone could ask Rob Manfred what he thinks about this idea and get it rolling before this incarnation of the Chicago Cubs doesn’t feature so many flexible and versatile players.
I don’t know if this model or idea for the designated hitter is something that will pick up any steam or not, but I sure wouldn’t mind seeing what a lineup of Zobrist, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Schwarber, Willson Contreras, Happ, Heyward, and Albert Almora would do to both National and American League pitching on a consistent basis.