John Mozeliak reveals St. Louis Cardinals’ biggest area for improvement
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak reveals the St. Louis Cardinals biggest area for improvement almost 70 games into the season.
Entering Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals are one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. They have received MVP-caliber performances from Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado while getting breakout performances from Miles Mikolas, Tommy Edman and Brendan Donovan.
But what area could the Cardinals improve in the most? In an interview with The Athletic, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said that it would “probably (be) rotation help.” Said Mozeliak: “The biggest need for improvement right now is probably rotation help. Now, that could come internally. It’s early June. Now there’s no doubt we struggled with innings from week to week, so having someone able to bridge that would be helpful.”
Mozeliak later went on to say that the bullpen could also be addressed, but the fact that he singled out the rotation is interesting. It’s also not surprising. While Jack Flaherty just returned, the club lacks ample depth behind Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson. The Cardinals expect Steven Matz, their prized free-agent acquisition, to contribute at some point again this season.
After that, however, they lack depth. It was a common criticism during the offseason, as it seemed possible (perhaps even likely?) that the Cardinals would add another starting pitcher after adding Matz. Instead, they went for marginal upgrades, and left the rotation as is, banking on the unit staying healthy after injuries almost cost them their 2021 season.
Fortunately for Mozeliak, he has experience in upgrading the rotation at the trade deadline. Just last season, he acquired Jon Lester and J.A. Happ, and both turned out to keep their rotation together as it dealt with an assortment of injuries. I expect Mozeliak to shop in a similar aisle this year – veterans who are battle tested and will come cheap – and that could potentially draw the ire of fans.
But I would expect the bulk of their resources to go towards bullpen reinforcements. And if they haven’t started making those calls already, I would expect them to do so soon.