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30 Teams In 30 Days: Are The Cardinals In For Another Down Year?

Seeing the St. Louis Cardinals struggle last year was weird. Not only did they struggle, they were downright terrible. That was one of the worst Cardinals teams we’ve ever seen and easily the worst of my lifetime. It was such a bad campaign that I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just a perfect storm of terrible or if the organization had legitimate problems. I think it’s safe to say that how they’ve developed and coached up their pitchers over the last several years needs a lot of improvement. They’ve tried to plug those holes by adding several veteran pictures and free agency. That’s kind of the big mystery box here. If guys like Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson can have resurgent seasons, we’re probably talking about a team that can compete for the National League Central. If they fall apart, we’re probably talking about a team that will need to sell at the deadline, and if that’s the case, I guess that Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt would probably be on the table. 

While they have had some success and won the division as recently as 2022, I do think that the pageantry that came with the Cardinals saying goodbye to their legendary stars may have become something of a detriment near the end. Adam Wainwright might’ve been the worst every fifth-day starter in baseball last year. He’s not solely responsible for their failures. Still, his regression wasn’t indicative of a bigger problem within the organization, and that’s what their pitchers need to do a better job of missing bats. 

They always seem to find a way to pull young position players out of their ass. It looks like Jordan Walker is going to ascend. There are enough professional hitters here for them to score runs throughout the season, but they strike me as one of those teams that’s in limbo right now. I don’t know if they’re good enough to compete for anything meaningful, but they aren’t bad enough to bottom out. They’re a team to pay attention to in the first half because if things go sideways like they did last year, they have a lot of very enticing potential trade pieces.