The St. Louis Cardinals’ lineup just got more formidable with the Nolan Arenado addition.
Arenado will start at third base for the Redbirds and will appear in the heart of their batting order. While this is great news for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to get some protection in the middle of the lineup, it means veteran Matt Carpenter will now have to embrace a platoon role. His best hope is for the National League to adopt the designated hitter rule full-time in 2021.
Projected Opening Day lineup for 2021 St. Louis Cardinals
- 2B Tommy Edman
- SS Paul DeJong
- 1B Paul Goldschmidt
- 3B Nolan Arenado
- LF Dylan Carlson
- RF Dexter Fowler
- C Yadier Molina
- CF Harrison Bader
- Starting pitcher
Second baseman Tommy Edman would lead off with shortstop Paul DeJong in the two-hole and Goldschmidt coming in at No. 3. Arenado would bat behind Goldschmidt hitting cleanup. Left fielder Dylan Carlson would hit sixth, followed by right fielder Dexter Fowler at sixth. Catcher Yadier Molina should bat seventh and center fielder Harrison Bader would bat before the pitcher.
If the National League did adopt the designated hitter, look for Carpenter to hit sixth and knock Fowler, Molina and Bader down a peg. This will allow pitchers like Jack Flaherty to focus on the craft that got them to the big leagues in the first place, as opposed to wiggling a bat and hitting around .120. This lineup should lead the Redbirds to an easy NL Central division crown in 2021.
Having Goldschmidt and Arenado batting consecutively does not even seem remotely fair.