If the National League accepts the designated hitter into its rulebook the Cardinals could benefit from big bats that don’t get to play every day. Since the switch over from National Leagues to American League, the Houston Astros have made the leagues even at 15 teams each. In order to have all 30 teams compete consistently inter-league games have become a regular event.
This adds an exciting new look at baseball for fans because now teams play teams that they have not played often.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is aware that the AL is at a disadvantage when they come to play at NL ball parks. He thinks that NL teams will adopt the designated hitter soon.
“I think that time is coming,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a Jayson Stark article. “Now I don’t know when that time is. It might be five years from now. It might be 10 years from now. But my gut feeling is … that if you ever got everybody in one room and said “you’ve all got to stay in the room until you make a decision one way or the other,” eventually they’d come out and say it’s time to have the DH in both leagues.”
While NL fans whine about the strategy of baseball detracting from the game if the pitcher does not get his at bats, consider this: Matt Adams would play every day.
Adams had 91 plate appearances last year during his injury-bug ridden rookie season and has started the 2013 season on the bench for the St. Louis Cardinals.
In his short campaign so far this year, Cards fans have seen what all the hoop-la was about. In 20 at bats he has scorched a team leading 3 home runs and collected eight RBI, batting in either the sixth or seventh spot in the batting lineup.
His batting average is off the chart hitting .611 and getting to first base 65 percent of the time.
Obviously, Adams will not be finishing this season with these video game-like numbers, but he has shown the ability to be a successful hitter with plate discipline. He has struck out only three times so far and forces the pitcher to throw many pitches before the end of an at bat.
The best way to develop a hitter like Adams on a team that has Allen Craig playing the same position as him until 2016 is to allow Adams some time at first base. Manger Mike Matheny is having him pinch hit as often as possible and play when the first basemen needs a rest. If the DH existed in the NL, he could hit everyday.
The 2013 Opening Day roster looked like this:
Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran, Holliday, Craig, Molina, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma and the pitcher, Adam Wainwright. Together these players have a batting average of .267. Add Adams in a DH role and the combined average rises to .296!
While fans enjoy seeing pitchers get on and run the base paths, the difference is almost .030 points. That should be plenty of strategy and remember, game winning doubles are just as exciting as a pitcher hitting a ball up the middle.