Paul DeJong believes St. Louis Cardinals will contend in 2022
Paul DeJong believes that the St. Louis Cardinals will contend in 2022 and looking at the roster, he’s got every right to be optimistic.
We have not heard from many St. Louis Cardinals players during the lockout, but Paul DeJong has made it clear that he’s due for a bounce back season. But in an interview with MLB Network Radio, he made it clear that he believes the team is in position to contend.
“We think it’s our time,” DeJong said. “We’ve watched all these other teams have success and we believe that we are right there with them.”
It’s not hard to see where DeJong is coming from, especially with the Cardinals riding a 17-game winning streak into the postseason. The team has gotten better this offseason with the addition of Steven Matz, giving them another established arm in the rotation, and gives them a strong left-hander alongside right-handers Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas.
There is a belief that the Cardinals’ offense will be better in 2022 as manager Oli Marmol implements more platoons and maximizes matchups. But much of that optimism comes from the fact that the team is hopeful Nolan Arenado will be better as he enters his second season in St. Louis. He admitted during the season that he was still getting accustomed to being in St. Louis and now that he has a year under his belt, should continue to perform at an MVP level.
Paired with Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill, the Cardinals’ offense features three MVP caliber players. Factor in Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader, Tommy Edman and Yadier Molina, along with the expected debut of top prospect Nolan Gorman, and the offense has immense potential.
The biggest question surrounding this team, however, is the bullpen. They have a need for two high-leverage relievers and they are expected to add at least one after the lockout, with Joe Kelly and Ryan Tepera being among the options under consideration.
If the Cardinals do that, and continue to add pieces throughout thr roster, there is a very real chance that DeJong could be proven right in a season that will start with World Series expectations.