This off-season’s improvement will be critical for several members of the St. Louis Cardinals roster. Whether it is for the 2023 team or their respective futures remains to be seen.
A handful of Cardinals had some tremendous moments during the 2022 season. Thankfully the team is loaded with outstanding talent that offset the down moments. But a stepped-up effort would have proved beneficial for specific players down the stretch.
Manager Oli Marmol has already had a complete turnover in his coaching staff. Matt Holliday replaces Skip Schumaker as bench coach. Jeff Albert stepped down as hitting coach due to social media criticism only to take on a hitting director role with the New York Mets. Turner Ward was promoted to hitting coach. Brandon Allen was promoted to assistant hitting coach. Allen was a hitting coach at AAA Memphis and was helpful to major leaguers who visited Memphis for rehab stints.
Dusty Blake took over as pitching coach as Mike Maddux decided to step aside to slow it down. Julio Rangel joined the organization as assistant pitching and bullpen coach.
The promotions of Ward and Allen should be most meaningful for the Cardinals. Ward is a favorite of Paul Goldschmidt, as the pair have known each other since their time in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Allen’s promotion is intriguing as several members of the Cardinals – Tyler O’Neill, Paul DeJong, Nolan Gorman, etc. – found success after working with Allen in Memphis.
Blake has been a pitching coordinator within the organization. It should be interesting to see how this transitions into a coaching role. Hopefully, he will join Dave Duncan and Maddux as a successful pitching coach in the organization.
Let’s look at some Cardinals who should take the offseason to improve, given a new coaching staff.
Dylan Carlson could use a new voice in his ear
Dylan Carlson proved to have a frustrating 2022 season that could be attributed to a lack of honesty on his part. While this is not new for the Cardinals, it’s frustrating to see from one of the organization’s top prospects.
Carlson was poised to take over in center field after the trade of Harrison Bader. He did a great job in the outfield but struggled at the plate. Carlson is one of those players who could benefit from the new coaching staff. From Holliday and Allen’s advice, Carlson should see some improvement at the plate.
While a talented hitter in high school and the minor leagues, he has struggled since joining the majors. While hitters have struggles, many a hitter could not adapt to Jeff Albert’s instruction.
Here’s hoping Carlson has a marked improvement during Spring Training.