Limited Brandon Saad Jersey Hopefully, Schwarber stays healthy and we finally get to see what kind of numbers this guy’s capable of producing over a full season. It’s almost impossible for him to live up to the hype after he batted .412 in the World Series, but the Cubs are counting on a big season for the big lefty. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he hits 30 homers with an on-base percentage near or above .380.
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The big right-hander made 18 starts last year, but with a pretty elite crop of rookies in the NL, Taillon didn’t receive a single vote in the Rookie of the Year race despite his 3.38 ERA and outstanding 5.0 K/BB ratio. Don’t be surprised if the former No. 2 overall pick (in the 2010 draft) makes up for that slight by earning an All-Star nod in 2017.

Healy’s rookie year was a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating season in Oakland. The 6-5 right-handed hitter joined the club after the All-Star break and proceeded to hit like he’d been in the majors for years; Healy batted .305 with 13 homers and an .861 OPS in 72 games. If he keeps that up this season, maybe folks outside the Bay Area will actually notice this rising star.

I grew up a National League fan. I’ve watched pitchers flail for decades. Pitchers should work on their hitting the same way hitters work on their fielding, but that isn’t a realistic expectation.

So let’s have a simple compromise: Allow the other eight guys pick up the DH’s or pitcher’s plate appearances. That way, pitchers stay away from the batter’s box, and they aren’t replaced by players who are even more one-dimensional.