Post by Preston Poole | @PrestonPoole405 on Twitter
St Louis Cardinals 2023 Preview
The Birds on the Bat won 93 games last year clinching the NL Central title for the first time since 2019.
They’ll be without a handful of starters in spring training with the World Baseball Classic going on.
Here’s a preview for the 2023 season:
2023 marks the start of the post Yadier Molina era for the Cardinals. They were able to add former Cub, and All Star Catcher, Willson Contreras in free agency. Contreras bring a big bat to St. Louis, which should be an improvement over what Yadi was able to bring at the end of his career.
Last year St. Louis had a multitude of injuries to their pitching rotation. Ace Jack Flaherty was out most of the season, and never really gained his form back. Steven Matz was out most of the season as well. This year both are healthy, and should lead an older starting rotation along with Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas.
The corner infield is locked down by future Hall of Famers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.
Tommy Edman is also a lock for one of the final two infield spots. Shortstop has been a big question mark for the Cardinals for years. Paul DeJong has great stretches as a hitter, but is inconsistent. The only other options for St. Louis are young guys like Nolan Gorman, or prospect Masyn Winn.
With the late season trade of Harrison Bader last year, the outfield will be a game of musical chairs. They have guys like Tyler O’Neil, who’s won a gold glove. Dylan Carlson has shown promise in his two years in the league, and Lars Nootbaar is a fan favorite. The Cardinals top prospect Jordan Walker has exploded this spring hitting 3 home runs and batting .429. He should at least have a spot on the Opening Day roster.
The bullpen in St. Louis was the strength of the team last year. Guys like Gio Gallegos and Jordan Hicks need to stay healthy and contribute big time for the Birds this year. Can Oklahoman Ryan Helsley back up his All Star performance last year and will Genesis Cabrera build off last season?
Overall, this St. Louis team has all the pieces to get it done. It will come down to whether or not the offense can stay consistent after having spots last year where it was nonexistent.
The NL Central shapes up to be a snoozer of a division this season outside of St. Louis and Milwaukee. It will be a tight race between the two, and both shape up to make the playoffs this season.
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