When MLB resumes play and we are not dealing with CBA, there will be a significant change to the National League. It has adopted the Designated Hitter that has been part of the American League since 1973. No more will pitcher have to bat! It really does align with modern-day baseball as the strategy of bunting is no longer deemed a positive play. I suppose if a pitcher bunts, it is another story, but now the NL will get to have another player who is paid to hit actually hit. I went through Roster Resource to see who is listed as the primary DH for all the NL teams. It is apparent that some teams are set up nicely even though there are few, and others will need to find a quality batter to fill this role. Here is the list of players on 02/22 that are the DHs. Keep in mind, the free agency period is not over and this could see dramatic changes (and likely will). Let’s do this by division so we will start in the East.
There is no doubt the team best suited for the DH is the Atlanta Braves. Marcel Ozuna could play OF but he is a great DH. They also have FA Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson, and Eddi Rosario. They are a team deep in hitters for their everyday lineup with the addition of the DH. NYM has found a spot for Robinson Cano (back from suspension) but can also plug in JD Davis or Dominic Smith. MIA, WSH, and PHI do not have a proven hitter for the role.
In the Central division, it seems these teams are a bit more suited with proven hitters or at least potential big bats. STL Paul DeJong is a proven big-league bat and provides SS Edmundo Sosa an everyday spot. CHC has newly acquired Clint Frazier. Hopefully, he has resolved the vertigo issues troubling him in the past. He is certainly full of potential. CIN can use a proven Mike Moustakas in the role. He used to be the third baseman and moved to second base for CIN, and now can just hit. Jonathan India is now the 2B, and Eugenio Suarez plays 3B. Great way to deepen their lineup. PIT has Michael Chavis listed. The former BOS slugger is full of power. If he can develop to become a better contact guy, he could be a big addition. MIL seems to be looking to fill the role.
In the West, I found it interesting the LAD would have Gavin Lux in the role. LAD will not employ a full-time player in this role. As they do with many players, they will alternate in their role and utilize matchups to fit the need. COL using Charlie Blackmon is a good fit. He is declining on defense but still has a big bat, plus is a proven hitter. SFG Darin Ruf is a good fit too. He is the backup 1B and does play OF, but this will give his bat more of an everyday feel. SDP Jurickson Profar will have an opportunity to get his bat in the lineup. He is a middle infielder with no spot as Fernando Tatis and Jake Cronenworth are now entrenched in their roles. ARI does not have a proven hitter for the role.
All said and done, ATL is the best-positioned team, and with Free Agency yet to finish, they have the potential of superstar throughout their batting order. NYM, CIN, STL are all teams with proven guys for the role. It appears though, that we should see plenty of swings in this market once we get back going again as most teams need to get better in this spot.