Miles Mikolas says that the St. Louis Cardinals are out for “revenge” and believes that the team is going to be a “juggernaut” in 2022.
During the lockout, we here at Redbird Rants have focused a lot on what the St. Louis Cardinals do not have. They need two relievers. They need another starting pitcher. They could also use some infield depth.
But what they do have on the current roster is enough to get them to the playoffs, as evidenced by their late 2021 surge, and perhaps even further. Indeed, pitcher Miles Mikolas says that the Cardinals are out for “revenge” and that the early results from player-held workouts have the team looking like a potential “juggernaut” in 2022.
Nolan Arenado is coming off his first full season with the Cardinals and will be far more comfortable in year two. Paul Goldschmidt remains a star. Tyler O’Neill is on the verge of superstardom. The offense has Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, Tommy Edman and are optimistic that Paul DeJong will bounce back. The rotation should be improved now that it is healthy and has Steven Matz signed to a four-year, $44 million contract. The bullpen remains the biggest question mark, though Giovanny Gallegos and Alex Reyes figure to give the group a high floor this season if all goes to plan.
So yes, while the word “juggernaut” is strong, the Cardinals have the talent to live up to that bill. They are arguably the favorite to win the National League Central and should be among the top-5 teams to represent the NL in the World Series, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves, among others, rounding out the group.
It makes the job of new manager Oli Marmol that much more important. He enters his first season with high expectations and anything short of a divisional round berth should be considered a failure, especially with Arenado’s opt out date looming after the season.
For now, however, there should be plenty of optimism surrounding the Cardinals – and more to come after they add more players following the end of the lockout.