Will the DH come to the NL in 2012?

40 Comments

That’s the prediction of Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue, who looked on aghast as Ubaldo Jimenez cramped up while running the bases in against the Astros last night:

There are millions of dollars invested in pitchers like this,
including Jimenez, who is signed through 2012 with a couple of
relatively inexpensive (for today’s market) club options for 2013 and
2014. And teams don’t want investments like this injured while doing
something that isn’t their primary responsibility — batting or running
the bases.

This is why the designated hitter is, I believe, almost certain to
come to the National League, probably by 2012. It will undoubtedly be a
bargaining chip in the next labor negotiation — the current agreement
expires on December 11, 2011.

I’ve seen this line of reasoning before, but even if I think the DH is going to come to the NL eventually — which I do — it won’t be because of some pitcher injury. It will be because the owners want to get a big financial concession from the players in collective bargaining and, in exchange, they throw the DH — usually a highly-paid roster slot — out there in trade.

I don’t see anything like that on the horizon in 2012.  The primary issues will be the international draft and draft pick slotting, and I don’t think that the players currently hate those things so much that the owners will have to give them the DH in exchange.

As for the pitcher injuries, jeez, man up, get more potassium and have someone massage that crap out after the game.

Braves trade David Hernandez to the Angels

Getty Images
3 Comments

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels have completed a minor trade: Atlanta is sending righty reliever David Hernandez to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Hernandez hasn’t pitched in the big leagues this year. He’s pitched in seven games at Triple-A, allowing one earned run in eight innings of work. In seven years of big league work he’s got an ERA of 4.10 in 379 games. Last year he put up a 3.84 ERA in 70 games for the Phillies.

I’m assuming the PTBNL is not Mike Trout.

The Nats are sniffing around for relief pitching help

Getty Images
4 Comments

The Nationals began the year with Blake Treinen as their closer. That didn’t last long, and now Koda Glover seems to be Dusty Baker’s man in the ninth inning. He earned a save for the second consecutive game yesterday. Glover has been pretty darn good in the early going, posting a 2.35 ERA and striking out six batters and walking only one in seven and two-thirds. That obviously a small sample size, and anything can happen. If it does, Baker has Shawn Kelley as an option.

Not many household names there, which is probably why the Nationals are reported to be interested in the White Sox’ David Robertson and Alex Colome of the Rays. That report comes from Jim Bowden of ESPN, who also notes that the A’s have a number of guys with closing experience on staff and are likely to be sellers too. The David Robertson thing may have more legs, though, given that Mike Rizzo and Rick Hahn pulled off a pretty major trade in the offseason. If you know a guy well, you call that guy first, right?

As far as problems go this isn’t a huge one. The Nats sit at 13-5 and, as expected by most prognosticators, are in first place in the National League East. The Cubs had some questions in the pen this time last year too. They had the luxury of trying to figure it out before making a massive trade for a closer. The Nats do too, and likely will. But expect them to be a part of any trade rumor conversation for the next couple of months.