3 designated hitter possibilities for the St. Louis Cardinals
The designated hitter is expected to be implanted in the next CBA and the St. Louis Cardinals have a few options to fill that slot.
The MLB and MLBPA are scheduled to meet Monday regarding the MLBPA’s counterproposal for a new collective bargaining agreement. It’s rumored that the use of the designated hitter will be universal.
The St. Louis Cardinals do appear to have many internal options to fill that designated hitter role, with Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Tyler O’Neill as obvious candidates when they need a day off.
Unfortunately, using them as DH would remove them from their position on the field. And all three are Gold Glove winners and not players you want to be removed from their defensive positions.
While prospects Nolan Gorman and Juan Yepez are players you’re looking forward to possibly seeing in the coming seasons, it’s not a certainty that they would be options to bring up immediately just for their hitting prowess.
Lars Nootbaar will certainly be the team’s fourth outfielder and could be a defensive option if one of the outfielders is needed for DH duty. Nootbaar could be a DH, too. He did have some epic hits in the latter months of the season and hit well during Arizona Fall League.
While new manager Oli Marmol will use matchups to determine who is used at what position, that will undoubtedly be the case for the designated hitter. Bringing in a player just for his bat should be something president of baseball operations John Mozeliak should look into once the new collective bargaining agreement is reached and negotiations between players and teams can resume.
Getting a player to talk over occasionally on defensive would be a good idea as well. After last season’s issues with injuries having as many options as possible are important. Especially considering Marmol will be keen on using matchups. You want Marmol to have options.
Let’s discuss some of those possible options.