It has been an interesting year of baseball as it is every year with this year being one of the most competitive years with so many teams in contention. Teams like the Cincinnati Reds and the Arizona Cardinals have made great strides to make a playoff push for the first time in an extended amount of time. The 2023 St. Louis Cardinals were not one of those teams that fans thought would be bad this season with the stars they have.
Some experts had the 2023 St. Louis Cardinals as World Series contenders with stars like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. All the hype surrounding them fell as soon as the season started with analysts trying to figure out why this team was failing. So, who is to blame for this disappointing year, and what do the Cardinals need to get back to their winning ways?
2023 St. Louis Cardinals: Who’s to Blame?
There is a lot to blame to go around when you look at this team. You first have to look at the general manager for not addressing the starting pitching staff of the Cardinals. At the begininng of the season, the rotation consisted of Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, Jack Woodford, and Steven Matz. An older Adam Wainwright rounded out the bunch, who was injured at the beginning of the year.
Montgomery had a great second half of the year after getting traded by the Yankees, but based on the start of the season it looked like he got hot at the right time. None of these starters are world-beaters so the emphasis was on the offense to produce enough runs to win games. It was interesting for the Cardinals not to make a move earlier on with the outfield depth they had to get a starter to lead the charge.
The next part that was a bit of a head-scratcher was some of the management and manager Oliver Marmol with who would be brought up and when. The biggest example of this was with right fielder Jordan Walker who, was brought up to the big leagues, then sent down, then brought back up to the majors. Little things like that affect the individual in addition to the team because of the inconsistency within the front office.
What do the Cardinals Do?
The Cardinals front office has a lot to consider this offseason. The first question the team needs to ask is if this was a fluke year and their stars will bounce back to form to carry this team. At the trade deadline, they had the opportunity to trade away Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt but decided not to because they believed they were bouncing back.
The 2023 St. Louis Cardinals’ pitching staff is something the team needs to improve upon to make strides in the National League. The 2023 St. Louis Cardinals team ranked 24th in team earned run average, 22nd in saves, and seventh in runs allowed. Overall, the staff needs to make adjustments to stand a chance in a tough National League.
Two pitchers that fit seamlessly in this staff include Eduardo Rodriguez and Marcus Stroman. Both pitchers were all-star selections this year. Stroman could become the ace of the staff like he was in Chicago while Rodriguez would be a great number two option. Some other options include Sonny Gray, Blake Snell, and Aaron Nola.
Can the Cardinals compete in 2024? Who do you think they target this offseason? How will they replace Waino in the rotation? Let us know your thoughts on these questions and any other thoughts around the 2023 St. Louis Cardinals season in the comments below!Main image credit Embed from Getty Images