5 things the St. Louis Cardinals should do this offseason
With the 2021 season behind us, here are five things the St. Louis Cardinals should do to prepare for 2022.
The 2021 season ended with a whimper for the St. Louis Cardinals, as they failed to muster any offense in the 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the win-or-go-home National League Wild Card game. With that disappointment in the rearview mirror, the Cardinals can only look to the future.
The 17-game winning streak in September showed some unquestionable strengths in the team: Tyler O’Neill looks like the real deal, Adam Wainwright continues to defy Father Time at age 40, and Luis Garcia and T.J. McFarland are diamonds dug out of the scrap heap.
There was definitely some room for improvement, though, as fans saw in the team’s dreadful June. Paul DeJong had the worst season of his career, Alex Reyes was inconsistent after an All-Star first half, and Matt Carpenter hit under the Mendoza line for all except two games in August.
In the past two offseasons, the Cardinals have signed first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Nolan Arenado in an effort to add thump to the lineup and shore up the defense, and while neither player has played at a superstar level, they have both performed solidly for the team.
The Cardinals did have a few players who could be considered to have come “out of nowhere” this season. Many fans likely didn’t expect Edmundo Sosa to grab the starting shortstop job. Lars Nootbaar was also a pleasant surprise, hitting well in his first few and last few games of the season, although he struggled a bit at the plate between those. Still, he and Sosa provided strong defense in the field, although Sosa’s defensive performance in the Wild Card game left a lot to be desired.
Pitching-wise, Garcia and McFarland were lifesavers for the Cardinals, and there is no way the team would have sniffed the postseason without them. Jon Lester pitched well in his time with the team, and J.A. Happ had a strong August before fading in September.
As fans clamor for the roster to be shaken up in the offseason and the Cardinals to sign another stud, here are a few things I’d like to see the Cardinals do before the next season gets underway.