Count Cubs center fielder Ian Happ as a supporter of a universal designated hitter.
"I think DH to the NL would be great for our game," Happ said in a Tuesday Q&A with The Athletic. "I'm a huge fan of the (NL) strategy and double-switches but for entertainment and pace of the game, I think it's time."
Adding a DH to National League play has gained traction in recent years, and it's a foregone conclusion it will happen in 2020. Part of MLB's proposal to start the season - which owners approved Monday and will be discussed with the players union Tuesday - entails teams only playing games within their geographic region.
The Cubs would play against the NL and AL Central, so adding a DH will mean all 30 teams play under the same rules.
Kyle Schwarber generally comes to mind as the clear choice for the Cubs' primary DH, though he's improved defensively in left field since his rookie season. The Cubs could use a series of players, including Schwarber, Wilson Contreras (to keep his bat in the lineup on days off from catching), Victor Caratini (a contact-oriented, switch-hitter), Steven Souza Jr. (who's coming off a serious knee injury) and Happ (a switch-hitter, on days Albert Almora Jr. starts in center).
Happ also said he thinks starting extra innings with a runner on second works, while posing the question of whether fans would rather see a home run derby to decide games longer than 12 innings or finish with a tie.
Cubs' Ian Happ supports National League adding designated hitter originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago