You know the baseball world is going stir-crazy when a new story pops up almost hourly about whether or not the designated hitter will - or should - come to the National League.
With less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the DH debate rages on, with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred clarifying his comments this week and admitting pitchers will still be hitting in the NL for the foreseeable future.
That can't be the news Dan Vogelbach wanted to hear. Not if he still has dreams about breaking into the big leagues with the Cubs.
Vogelbach has to keep improving and would need either a trade or an Anthony Rizzo injury to eventually find his way into a big-league lineup spot. There's no other way around it until the DH comes to the NL.
"Quite frankly, I can't worry about that type of stuff," Vogelbach said during Cubs Convention earlier this month. "I'm just going to continue to play first base and be the best first baseman that I can and learn from Rizzo.
"Obviously, Rizzo is the first baseman of the Chicago Cubs and that's not going to change. So I can't worry about what he does or how he performs. I can only worry about what I do. So if [the DH] opens up, that's another chance and another bat in the lineup. But right now, I'm just going to continue to try to be the best first baseman I can be."
Rizzo is only 26, a two-time All-Star and under team control through the 2021 season. And Vogelbach hasn't forced the issue yet, reaching the Double-A level for the first time in 2015 before missing a month-and-a-half with a torn oblique.
Vogelbach said he's 100 percent healthy and ready for what figures to be a pivotal year in his development. Now 23, he hasn't really shown off the kind of power the Cubs expected when they drafted him in the second round in 2011, 59 spots after Jim Hendry's front office took Javier Baez with the ninth overall pick.
In five minor-league seasons, Vogelbach has hit 60 home runs, or roughly one every 25 at-bats. It hasn’t quite been the light-tower power he was known for during his high school days in Florida.
But Vogelbach has proven he’s more than just a power hitter, putting up a career .382 on-base percentage in the minors with 239 walks and only 292 strikeouts in 411 games.
In some ways, Vogelbach resembles Rizzo as a left-handed hitter. That's by design.
"The way Rizzo hits, he's not scared to go to two strikes," Vogelbach said. "He knows when he needs to hit and when he can let it go to hit a home run.
"That's the stuff that I look at. Everybody hits differently, but when it comes down to it, approach-wise is how you're going to hit and how you're going to be successful."
Vogelbach talked about understanding the situation, how swinging for the fences in a tie game with a runner on second and two outs is silly when a single can give his team the lead.
Vogelbach is an intense competitor, the type of guy who hates to lose and won't try to hide it. But he prefers a quiet approach when putting in the work.
"I'm not big on asking questions," Vogelbach said. "I just like to watch [Rizzo], how he battles with two strikes, how he doesn't do too much. That's why, every single year, he hits for a high average and his on-base percentage is so high.
"And that's what I pride myself in. I get to watch him and the way he takes pitches the other way. He doesn't chase pitches and that's the way I like to be."
It would make sense if Vogelbach returned to Tennessee to begin this season before making the jump to Triple-A Iowa. He is listed at 6-foot, 250 pounds on his Baseball-Reference page but looks more streamlined now. He also heard all the Kyle Schwarber comparisons throughout Cubs Convention weekend.
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"Coming out of high school, I was obviously overweight and I wasn't in shape," Vogelbach said. "In high school, you can get away with anything. So coming here, they had a plan for me and basically told me I didn't have a choice.
"So I took that to heart. I have to do whatever I can to play. That was the first step. I had to change my eating habits. I worked out a lot more and kind of made it a lifestyle.
"Since losing weight that year, it's really helped me in every aspect of the game. I'm healthy, I feel good and I'm ready for the season."
Stay tuned to see if that means wearing a Cubs uniform or becoming part of a bigger trade for pitching.