ACKERMAN: Cardinals' DH candidates, ranked

Is my top five suggesting that Carlson will not only make the club, but prove to be one of the top three outfielders? We'll see.

Tom Ackerman
May 13, 2020 - 5:47 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Nolan Arenado would not make a good DH, no. He's way too valuable as a third baseman.

What? Oh, hi. Sorry. I was daydreaming a little bit.

Yes, I've come to accept the designated hitter as inevitable. I never liked it, though. Loved the National League style of baseball, the strategy. Thought the AL was inferior for years. I was that guy.

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But now that the DH is apparently part of a plan to bring baseball back, I'm all in. I just want to see some ball.

Who are the top candidates to serve the DH role with the Cardinals? Well, I'm glad you asked. Let's rank them.

1) Matt Carpenter. (Speaking of third base.) This seems like an obvious choice. Carpenter can concentrate on offense, which is his strong suit. And it allows Tommy Edman to play every day at the hot corner. Carpenter has a chance to redeem himself after a subpar year in 2019. Is there still some magic left in that bat?

2) Rangel Ravelo. He assumes the role vacated by Jose Martinez when he was traded to the Rays: professional hitter. Ravelo hits the ball hard and has great potential in an RBI role. Besides, he plays first base, which he'll never see, right? Unless...

3) Paul Goldschmidt. At the end of spring training, Goldschmidt was dealing with some elbow trouble, mostly when throwing. If the injury resurfaced, wouldn't it be nice to have Goldy take some time off from the field and appear only as a hitter?

4) Tyler O'Neill. This depends on who wins the left field job between O'Neill, Lane Thomas and Dylan Carlson. It would allow two of them to appear in the lineup together. O'Neill is a power threat. With a better approach at the plate and increased plate appearances, he could be dangerous. There's also nothing wrong with some added speed on the basepaths. O'Neill can fly.

5) Lane Thomas. A very good all-around player, Thomas could see some time at DH just to get him in the lineup more (assuming Harrison Bader and Dexter Fowler will retain their spots in CF and RF, respectively). Especially if Carlson wins the job in LF, it would be a luxury to have Thomas on the bench or serving as a semi-regular DH. He's talented... and just needs a chance to play.

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Is my top five suggesting that Carlson will not only make the club, but prove to be one of the top three outfielders? We'll see.

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