DH (against righties): Lars Nootbaar
DH (against lefties): Juan Yepez
I won’t get into my thoughts on the universal DH (it’s bad! they should have used this rule!) but there is no avoiding the exciting offensive possibilities the new spot opens up. Between Nootbaar and Yepez, the Cardinals have two exciting young talents that will get a chance for consistent MLB at-bats. The rest of the league might regret giving the devil magic more opportunities to operate.
Backup catcher: Andrew Knizner
Utility infielder: Edmundo Sosa
Bench bat: Brendon Donovan
Knizner and Sosa are the stalwarts on the bench. Both will have opportunities to step-up, from Paul DeJong’s short leash and Yadier Molina’s eventual aging process. Sosa especially will be counted on for energy off the bench.
I’m giving the last spot to someone already on the 40-man roster in Brendon Donovan. Donovan plays multiple positions and absolutely crushed it at the Arizona Fall League last season. While Nolan Gorman or a Kyle Schwarber/Albert Pujols signing would be more fun, Gorman probably needs another month or so, and the track record from this front office doesn’t normally lean towards moves that I call “fun.”