In a 60-game schedule, no Cardinals player is likely to get more than 100 at-bats as a DH but as many as 10 or 12 could get 20 apiece.
Whatever happens, we’re not talking about David Ortiz here. Or, in today’s game, Edwin Encarnacion or J.D. Martinez or Nelson Cruz.
This is not a spot in which the Cardinals planned to invest much energy or money, but whoever hits there just needs to keep the line moving. Other than an occasional power burst from Adam Wainwright or Miles Mikolas, the designated hitter consortium figures to do better than the Cardinals’ pitchers trying to hit.
In theory, if Tommy Edman, who was one of the Cardinals’ most prolific hitters last season, just can’t be kept out of the lineup, you would find him at third base. This could move third baseman Matt Carpenter into DH duties, something he rarely has done in interleague games. Carpenter is seven for 31 with three runs batted in as a designated hitter. But as his career goes on, being a successful DH could prolong it.
He is a signed player for next year at $18 million, but if the DH stays for the 2021 season Carpenter would have more value to the Cardinals, if he can recapture his hitting success of a couple of years ago.