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All things EHS all the time

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The Cardinals: What went wrong

A look into the problems that plagued The Cardinals last year and possible solutions
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Kevin Ward

The 2023 season for the Saint Louis Cardinals was nothing but a plain disappointment. The Cardinals finished with a woeful 71-91 record, the lowest record achieved since 1995. As pressure mounts on owner Bill Dewitt and President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak, The Cardinals need to turn it around quickly, or it could spell the end of the Oli Marmol tenure.

First, when looking at the problems that plagued The Cards last year, the pitching staff was a glaring weakness. The team posted a 4.79 team Earned Run Average (E.R.A), which finished 24 out of 30 ball clubs in the MLB. The offseason before, the Cardinals only added a veteran pitcher José Quintana from the White Sox on a two-year deal, who posted a 3.57 E.R.A. and a 3-6 record this past season.

This offseason, The Cardinals should focus on two quality starters with many different options hitting free agency. The first option that I believe the Cardinals should pursue if he enters free agency, is Cubs starter Marcus Stroman. Stroman posted a 3.95 E.R.A. while compiling a record of 10 wins and 9 losses. While these stats don’t pop off the page, Stroman has the ability to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter who can hold his own. The second option, which would come at a more affordable price as well, is Cleveland Guardians starter Lucas Giolito. Giolito has hit a slump in recent memory, having peaked as a CY Young candidate in 2019 for the White Sox. The opportunity for a low-risk high-reward pickup like Giolito on an affordable payroll could spell a jackpot for The Card’s starting rotation.

Lifelong Cardinals fan and Eureka teacher John Deavers shares a similar sentiment about the Cardinal’s shortcomings. He also believes that the Cardinals are in dire need of grabbing pitching over the offseason.

“I think The Cardinals overestimated the quality of pitchers they had,“ Deavers said.

Deavers also brought up Phillies Starter Aaron Nola as a possible target for The Cardinals to pick up. Nola is coming off a mediocre year with a 4.46 E.R.A., but at his best, he is proven as a top-ten pitcher in the MLB.

In order to be able to contend, The Cards need to ensure that they have ample farm talent to help depth as well. Once prized prospect Matthew Liberatore needs to rebound from a terrible season in which he was demoted to a bullpen role. After posting a 5.25 E.R.A last year, there have been many discussions about him being sent down to AAA or permanently installed in the bullpen, but if Liberatore can live up to his high expectations, he can become a mainstay in a hopefully reloaded Cards rotation. Prospects Tink Hence and Tekoah Roby both rank top five in the farm system rankings for St. Louis, with MLB. Com projecting both of the right-handed pitchers to make their debut in 2024. There will be many questions about the duo, with neither having any professional experience above AA.

In conclusion, it seems that this off-season, The Cardinals need to make a big splash in the Free Agency market by adding at least two solid pitchers. In the front office, the top brass need to realize that it takes money to win games, and not everyone can be Moneyball with a shoe-
string budget. If the Cardinals can’t rapidly improve their pitching staff, next year could be more of the same.

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About the Contributors
Sam Garner, Sports Editor

Sam Garner, News Production

Grade: 11 Years on Staff: 2 Hobbies: Golfing, traveling, fishing, hanging out with friends and family What was your favorite childhood TV show? The Suite Life What is your favorite book?  Saban: Making of a Coach Favorite Quote: "Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard." Favorite Hot Take: Thanksgiving food is overrated Fun Fact: My mom teaches at Eureka What motivates you?  Making myself and my family proud
Kevin Ward, reporter
This is Kevin's second semester on Digital Media Production. In his free time, he likes to take photos, swim and play lacrosse. At EHS, he is involved with the EHS Lacrosse Club, EHS swim team, E-Crew! and Best Buddies. If he could use one word to describe himself, he would use confident. His dream job is to be a creative director for film projects. Follow Kevin on Twitter @Ward_EHShub.
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