10 burning questions facing the St. Louis Cardinals as Spring Training begins

Spring Training begins tomorrow, and these 10 questions are burning on the minds of Cardinals Nation.

Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Is this the year we finally see an internal arm emerge for the starting rotation?

One final thing to keep an eye on, both this spring and as the season plugs along, is whether or not the Cardinals can have a young arm finally emerge to grab a rotation spot.

In the last few years, the Cardinals have had to fill out their rotation with free-agent or trade acquisitions, guys who are already arbitration-eligible or on larger free-agent deals. The problem with paying five guys that kind of money is it spreads out the dollars across the entire rotation, instead of allowing the Cardinals to spend bigger on specific arms. Yes, the Cardinals can simply change that by upping their budget, but that's another conversation.

Regardless, the best teams in baseball tend to at least develop some of their own pitching, and the Cardinals just have not done that well recently. With club options on guys like Lynn and Gibson for 2025 though, they have an opportunity to place their production in-house if someone emerges.

We mentioned some of these names already, but keep an eye out for the likes of Graceffo, Thompson, and Liberatore this year, as if one of them can take the bull by the horns, the opportunity is there. To a lesser extent, names like McGreevy, Kloffenstein, and Robberse could do the same as well.

It will also be interesting to see if guys a little further out but with higher potential, like Roby, Hence, or Cooper Hjerpe, can make enough strides in 2024 that they are ready to compete for a rotation spot for 2025 as well. This is the first season in a while where it feels really promising that someone could emerge, so keep an eye on that group as they make their way through the minor league systems and potentially insert their name into the rotation soon.

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