St. Louis Cardinals reportedly optimistic about postseason chances in 2022
The St. Louis Cardinals may have a few holes, but they are reportedly very confident in the current state of their roster.
In talking about the current state of the St. Louis Cardinals’ roster, much of the attention has focused on what’s to come with future roster additions. How many late inning relievers will they add? Will they add another bench bat along the lines of, say, Colin Moran? Could adding another starting pitcher be a possibility even after signing Steven Matz to a four-year deal?
How about we focus on the current roster? As currently constructed, the Cardinals are deep and loaded. They have two superstars in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt and a budding star in Tyler O’Neill. They have a five-man rotation that is set in stone, a defense that features five Gold Glovers, and an offense that also features Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader, Tommy Edman and Yadier Molina.
Sure, there are holes on the roster. But what team doesn’t have holes at this point? There is a lot of reason to be optimistic about this current Cardinals team and wonder what’s possible. To that point, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that “there is external awareness and internal confidence how strong this roster could be.”
For good reason. This team, from top to bottom, is immensely talented and also healthy, something they were not for the majority of the 2021 season. Those injuries tested the depth throughout the organization and ultimately cost them, especially in the rotation, when they waited to add external pieces before adding Jon Lester and J.A. Happ at the eleventh hour of the July 31 trade deadline.
They cannot make the same mistake again, hence why they continue to be linked to starting pitchers despite having Matz, five starters in place and other internal options (Jake Woodford, Johan Oviedo) who are capable of making spot starts. It’s also why they need to do everything to add an impact reliever, perhaps adding both Joe Kelly and Ryan Tepera.
Of course, breaking the bank and going all-in on a season is not something that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak likes to do. But if there is ever a time and roster to do it with, it’s this one. Molina and Adam Wainwright are entering their last seasons. Paul Goldschmidt is at his peak. Nolan Arenado could opt out after the season. O’Neill, Bader and Carlson are all signed to cheap, long-term contracts, which affords them financial flexibility.
The Cardinals have the roster to compete in the National League. They can add a few more pieces to the roster to make themselves real contenders to compete for the World Series.