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Rob Manfred says DH in the National League “is a continuing source of conversation”


Missed this yesterday, but Rob Manfred, fresh off the quarterly owners meetings, said that the DH in the National League, while not imminent or agreed upon or anything, is moving closer to reality. From WFAN:

Following the quarterly owners’ meeting Thursday, Manfred indicated that progress has been made on an issue that has been hotly debated for decades.

“I think that is a continuing source of conversation among the ownership group, and I think that the dialogue actually probably moved a little bit,” Manfred said.

I probably don’t need to rehash my feelings on the matter for the eleventy-billioninth time. Short version: (a) as an NL-leaning partisan I like pitchers batting subjectively, for reasons that are hard to explain but which are wrapped up in emotion and custom and habit and all of that; but (b) it makes no logical sense for pitchers to bat because they can’t do it well, Major League clubs have no desire for them to even pretend to do it well and because having two sets of rules for the leagues is unfair and works to the disadvantage of AL teams when playing in NL parks.

The opinions aside — and I know you have yours and will fill the comments with them — the discussion of an NL DH could serve as a point in labor negotiations going forward, given that position players and DHs tend to make more money than the last arm on a pitching staff, and thus the players may very well want 15 more DH jobs. Not saying that cuts too deeply, especially given that there are very few full-time DHs anymore — only four guys have qualified for the batting title at DH in the AL this year — but it’s not nothing. I can imagine Major League Baseball offering a universal DH to the players in the next CBA in exchange for something else.

Either way, I feel like we’ll have it within the next ten years or so.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.