Of all NL teams that would benefit from a universal DH, the St. Louis Cardinals are at the top of the list thanks to Brad Miller.
As MLB discusses a proposal to save the 2020 season, one of the possible rule changes would impose a universal DH. That should be music to the ears of fans in St. Louis, as it makes bringing Brad Miller to town even more dangerous.
The Cardinals signed Miller to a modest contract this offseason as a utility-man of sorts, providing key at-bats off the bench having hit over .250 in each of his previous three seasons. In limited time with Rays, Brewers, Indians and Phillies, Miller has proven his power at the dish, and may have finally found a home in St. Louis.
Miller is a jack of all trades, and can play shortstop, second or first base, depending on how Mike Shildt is feeling on a given gameday. Now, Miller is open to another option entirely: designated hitter.
“I’m a hitter,” Miller told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Sometimes I get flack for my defense. That’s the narrative on me. That’s ways rubbed me the wrong way. Going through free agency a few times, the industry views me as more of a bat. I can play several positions. Adding a DH — that’s a help for me, for anybody who has a bat in their hands.”
Miller’s .578 slugging percentage and .888 OPS back up his strong claims, and while he may not be used as the everyday DH, he’ll find his name on the lineup card quite often due to his versatility in the field. That’s not bad for a 30-year-old on a $2 million base salary.
The universal DH is far from a certainty, as Rob Manfred and Co. are still discovering how to best fit a shortened MLB season, one which could potentially start in the beginning of July.
For now, Miller is merely prepared based on hearsay.