Alex Reyes, Carlos Martinez, and Jack Flaherty staying healthy
While we can talk over and over again about the Cardinals trading away or not signing certain starting pitchers, it would not be as glaring of an issue if Alex Reyes, Carlos Martinez, or Jack Flaherty had stayed healthy for the club.
Alex Reyes was one of the top prospects in all of baseball and showed during his debut season in 2016 that he had all of the makings of an ace. Unfortunately, he began to battle numerous injuries after that, relegating him to becoming a bullpen arm but still struggling with injuries today.
Jack Flaherty was one of the top starters in baseball from 2018-2021, finishing 4th in Cy Young voting in 2019 and 13th in MVP voting. He has battled numerous injuries since then as well and has lost a lot of his velocity now as well.
I think people forget how good Carlos Martinez was for the Cardinals for most of his career. From 2015-2018, Martinez went 50-33 with a 3.22 ERA and 8.9 SO/9 while being named to two All-Star teams.
Honestly, it's shocking that the club could have three talents like that in their rotation recently and all three would let injuries derail their career. Pair that with losing guys like Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen, and it's crazy to think they now have such a bleak rotation.