The offense is the group that both John Mozeliak and Oil Marmol believe is the St. Louis Cardinals most underrated unit.
Despite having a star-studded roster, there are many analysts who are not high on the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2022 outlook. Perhaps that is because of the pitching staff, with the rotation dealing with injuries and the bullpen not getting the high-end addition that many outside observers believe it needed.
But I remain high on the Cardinals. I think they will win the National League Central this season – and much of that belief stems from the Cardinals’ offense that features Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill. In fact, when Katie Woo of The Athletic asked manager Oli Marmol and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak what “one element you feel is underrated or may surprise people this year,” they both responded almost instantly.
In Game 1, the Cardinals scored nine runs. Arenado, O’Neill and Tommy Edman all hit home runs. It is how the team plans to attack its opponents this season. Sure, they have enough pitching to get by and enough players with upside that can help the unit exceed expectations. But they are going to outscore you on a nightly basis because, one through nine, they are as deep as any team (except for the Los Angeles Dodgers) in the National League.
Their lineup for Game 1 went as follows: Dylan Carlson, Goldschmidt, O’Neill, Arenado, Albert Pujools, Paul DeJong, Yadier Molina, Harrison Bader and Tommy Edman. That, quite simply, is extremely good.
That’s not including bench bats such as Corey Dickerson or even top prospects such as Nolan Gorman or Juan Yepez. The unit, should it stay healthy, has the potential to get even better as the season goes on. If Flaherty returns, and the rest of the rotation stays healthy, the Cardinals have the chance to surprise a lot of people.
But it all starts with the offense and Game 1 was a very strong showing.