St. Louis Cardinals' mentality for 2023: If you hit, we'll find a position for you

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs - Game Two
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs - Game Two / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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#1 - Off days will naturally rotate the lineup

Outside of the ability to play the splits in a very advantageous way (more on that in my lineups story), the Cardinals will naturally create at-bats in a number of ways, the first of which is through off days.

The Cardinals appear to be a team that will want to rotate their stars, such as Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, into that DH spot to give them rest on various days. New catcher Willson Contreras will likely see time there as well, but with so many options on the roster, I'd prefer they just give him full off days rather than seeing him DH. In 2022, Goldschmidt and Arenado combined for 40 games at DH, which if that is repeated in 2023, limits that position to just 122 games for the rest of the bunch.

Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Alec Burleson, and Juan Yepez can fill in for Goldschmidt and Arenado on those days, so it's not fair to say it completely zaps the position from ABs, but those days would require St. Louis to sit one of their outfield options for that game.

Even if the Cardinals are putting Goldschmidt and Arenado at DH frequently, there are plenty of other guys who will need rest as well. Tommy Edman played almost every day in 2022, and the Cardinals would be wise to slide Donovan over to short or get DeJong some spot starts more frequently in 2023, which then creates at-bats at second base for Gorman, and still frees up DH for someone else. Even if the Cardinals land on three primary outfielders, those guys will need rest as well, creating opportunities multiple times a week there as well.

I expect the Cardinals to be one of the teams that leads the league in lineup combinations in 2023, and that should play to their advantage. The Cardinals have elite depth, leading the league in players who are expected to be above league average. The lineup will not take a step back when starters are rotated out, which is something few teams can say about their own teams.