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Masahiro Tanaka doesn’t want to see universal DH rule

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Recently, we learned that the MLBPA suggested implementing a universal DH rule in time for the 2019 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred quickly shot down that idea, saying a universal DH wouldn’t be implemented until the next collective bargaining agreement, i.e. 2022 at the earliest.

Naturally, the DH debate came alive again. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard chimed in, showing he’s not a fan of a universal DH rule. Now another New York pitcher has weighed in: Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Newsday’s Erik Boland reports that Tanaka would also prefer not to see a universal DH rule take effect.

Tanaka said via a translator, “I did get injured last season running the bases but when you look at it, I grew up where baseball was played by nine guys, meaning the pitcher would hit also. I really enjoyed that baseball, so I guess that’s all I can say about that.”

Tanaka, 30, batted in only three games last season. The second of those three games was a June 8 battle with the Mets. With one out in the sixth inning, Tanaka reached on an error, advanced to second base on a Gleyber Torres single, then went to third base when Brett Gardner walked, and finally scored on an Aaron Judge sacrifice fly. Tanaka injured both of his hamstrings running home. He was placed on the injured list and ended up missing a month of action. Proponents of the DH rule pointed to Tanaka’s injuries as reason to implement a universal DH. One would think Tanaka himself would be pro-DH after what happened, but he’s not.

Across parts of seven seasons in Japan, Tanaka only came to the plate 42 times. He registered three hits (one double) and four RBI with 16 strikeouts. In his 28 major league plate appearances, he has just one hit with 12 strikeouts and one walk.

Andrew McCutchen ‘ready to go’ whenever season begins

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.

2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.