St. Louis Cardinals: Like it or not, the DH helps the team in 2020
St. Louis Cardinals fans are going to hate that it’s there, but the DH is coming to the MLB. Like it or not, it’ll help the Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals fans may be the Best Fans in Baseball, but that doesn’t mean that they are the most receptive to change.
For years, the National League has always seemed to have at least a partial superiority complex about it because “we let the worst batters on the field hit.” Letting pitchers hit does make for some fun situational managing, but in general, nobody really enjoys watching pitchers hit.
From our own beloved Adam Wainwright, we know that most of them love to hit too. Why wouldn’t they? However, we also know that batting can bring unnecessary injuries to pitchers.
2020 has been such a weird year and the baseball season (if we have one) will no doubt follow suit.
What’s looking like a season of 60-65 games will also bring with it an expanded playoff, potential advertisements on jerseys, no fans, and lastly, the DH.
In the MLBPA’s most recent proposals, the DH was not just something they proposed for 2020, it included 2021 as well. What does that say? It says that like it or not, COVID-19 caused the fight for those who want the DH in the NL to get a whole heck of a lot easier.
For the DH in the NL, It’s going to be a lot like Pandora’s box. Once you get it implemented, it’s going to be very hard to get rid of it.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- MVP voter listed Cardinals’ Arenado 8th on ballot
- St. Louis Cardinals non-tender former All-Star closer Alex Reyes
- St. Louis Cardinals sign Oscar Mercado and four others to MiLB deals
- St. Louis Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt named 2022 NL MVP
- Lars Nootbaar is a prime Cardinals trade candidate
I’ve seen a very small number of people I have seen defend wanting a DH so far and there have been a lot of people who are against it.
Like it or not, the DH would help the roster construction for the Cardinals in 2020 a whole lot. For one, let’s remember what one of the biggest goals of 2020 is for the Cards: to figure out what they have with their young outfielders.
The way the roster was looking before the 2020 season was postponed, the outfielders on the roster were going to be Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas, Dexter Fowler, and Tommy Edman*. Edman’s role was never discussed but we know he had a great year in 2019 and we know he can play some corner outfield.
Between Bader, O’Neill, and Thomas though, the Cardinals need to spread out a lot of at-bats. I’m not advocating for anyone to be a DH, but when you get to use another position player there, it adds more possible at-bats to the pool.
The other result will be a much-improved defense.
While advanced statistics disagree, some will say that Matt Carpenter is a worse defender at third base than Edman. Both need to play, and the DH lets the aging Carpenter just focus on hitting. The same can be said about Fowler in right.
If the infield has Edman (and not Carpenter) and the outfield is made up of some combo of Thomas, O’Neill, Bader (or Edman, again), the defense will get a lot better in the corners. As we saw in 2019, the Cardinals already had a great defense. Trading Marcell Ozuna for O’Neill or Thomas and then subtracting either Carpenter or Fowler from the equation just means it’s going to get better across the board.
That change will be felt in the number of runs the Cardinals give up. Not to mention the increase the Cardinals will get from not having the pitcher bat. No matter how much you may dislike Matt Carpenter or Dexter Fowler, they will have zero issues beating the .139/.159/.168 slash and -16 wRC+ the team’s pitchers put up last season.
It helps the team on both sides of the ball.
Things change, like it or not. Some fans may be turned away from the league for good, but it’s something that was going to be here eventually, it just happened to come sooner than expected.