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Yairo Munoz homers twice in Cardinals’ eight-run seventh inning

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The Cardinals erased an eight-run deficit in the seventh inning of Wednesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Orioles. Outfielder Yairo Munoz was a big contributor as he hit a pair of home runs in the frame.

Munoz led off the seventh with a home run off of Andrew Faulkner, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 9-2. The Cardinals proceeded to load the bases with no outs, then with one out, Wilfredo Tovar cleared the bases with a double. Alex Mejia tacked on an RBI single to bring the Cardinals closer at 9-6. Munoz came back up to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs, then drilled a three-run home run to left field, tying the game at 9-9.

As Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, Munoz wasn’t even supposed to be in Wednesday’s lineup. He was only put in when Rangel Ravelo said he didn’t feel good after batting practice.

Munoz, 23, is the 10th-best prospect in the Cardinals’ system, according to MLB Pipeline. The Cardinals acquired him from the Athletics in December along with Max Schrock in the Stephen Piscotty trade. Munoz split his season last year between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Unsurprisingly, he had better numbers at Double-A than at Triple-A. Altogether, he hit .300/.330/.464 with 13 home runs, 68 RBI, 65 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 477 plate appearances.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.