National League teams will get their first taste of the hated designated hitter rule in a shortened 2020 regular season, as part of the plan submitted by owners to restart the 2020 campaign. The roadmap, which has not been approved by the players yet, implements the AL-only rule in the senior circuit amid a flurry of ad hoc adjustments.
And while most NL teams will need to adjust their rosters to accommodate a DH, the St. Louis Cardinals have one ready to assume that role on Day 1.
Matt Carpenter, who wouldn't start as an infielder in 2020, would be a perfect designated hitter due to his power, discipline, and ability to put the ball in play.
Carpenter has experience at first, second, and third base, but those spots are being held down by Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, and Tommy Edman, respectively. Carpenter isn't totally a lost cause, however, as he can still get on base as effectively as any corner infielder. 2019 might have been rough, but this is a guy that is one year removed from finishing ninth in MVP voting after clubbing 36 home runs.
Carpenter has always seemed to be a natural fit for a DH role, but he has never been able to hold one down by virtue of playing on an NL team for all this time. Suddenly, his value around St. Louis just took a leap.