As announced yesterday, the National League will move forward with the universal designated hitter rule. Read below to see how that will impact the St. Louis Cardinals.
National League Moving To Universal DH
As of this season, the NL will no longer see the pitchers come to bat. The universal DH is finally coming to the NL, with many fans excited and many fans disappointed.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced this last week, that in part of the CBA Agreement the NL would be moving forward with a DH.
For the fans who like to see the game revolutionize, they are excited. For the traditionalists of the game, they are losing yet another portion of the game they grew to love. Personally, I have mixed emotions about the rule change.
What This Means For St. Louis
As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, you should be ecstatic about this rule change. Last year alone, the Cardinals had three pitchers that were hurt because of swinging a bat. Jack Flaherty missed an extended part of the season because of a swing and miss, resulting in a left oblique injury.
In 2015, Adam Wainwright tore his Achilles heel on an infield popup, ending his season. We all love to see Wainwright get hits and on base, but for the safety of the Cardinals, this is a good thing. This is why I like the rule change, for the reason that our pitchers cannot get hurt anymore.
The last home run by a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher will be Jack Flaherty, the one who would later be hurt because of batting. On May 7 of this last season, Flaherty launched a home run over the visitor’s bullpen. The home run was hit off former teammate, Austin Gomber.
Most likely for the Cardinals, this now opens a spot for Lars Nootbaar or Juan Yepez. Eventually, the spot could open up for Nolan Gorman when his time is ready, but those are the most realistic options for the Cardinals.
Options To Pursue
Obviously, we would all like to see the Cardinals pursue an option in free agency, realistic or not. Many players now can receive big contracts from more teams. Current free agents like Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Nelson Cruz, and many others can field offers from AL and NL teams.
Personally, I would like to see the Cardinals pursue Schwarber. The former Cub and Boston Red Sox would fill that role very well. The Cardinals are continuing to look for the leadoff hitter and that is something Schwarber could do as a DH.
Jorge Soler proved to be a power bat and a great option as the DH for his role in the World Series. Soler most notably hit a moonshot in the third inning of the clinching game.
While Schwarber and Soler would be great options, they are very unrealistic. One option that is still left on the table could easily happen and that is bringing Albert Pujols back home.
Pujols has been gone from St. Louis since 2012 and has played with the Los Angeles teams of the Angels and the Dodgers. With the retirements of Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, it would make perfect sense for the Cardinals to bring Pujols back home and let him retire as a St. Louis Cardinal.
2022 MLB Season
The start of the 2022 MLB season is still unknown. There is another meeting scheduled with the owners and players association tomorrow, but progress is being made. It would be unlikely to see Spring Training start on time, but if we are a week or two behind, most fans would not mind.
All this time, the fans and those who truly care about the game have been the ones receiving the short end of the stick. While the two sides argue and continue to push this season off, we will be waiting idle, just hoping for the baseball season to start.