Here are three overly knee-jerk reactions to what we've seen this season.
The St. Louis Cardinals have played a week's worth of games in 2023, and despite the team showing flashes of promise, it has been a disappointing start to the season, especially in the starting pitching department. To join the fans who judge the Cardinals far too early in the season, I'm going to throw in some hyperbolic, far-too-early takes.
1. Miles Mikolas' contract extension is a failure
The Cardinals’ contract extension of Miles Mikolas through 2025 is looking like Paul DeJong 2.0 as the starter has sputtered to a 9.64 ERA through two starts, giving up 19 hits in 9.1 innings as well as a 92.4 mph average exit velocity.
With the rotation in shambles, one of the two pitchers who could be considered the Cardinals’ ace is falling flat on his face. The 34-year-old pitcher will need to defy the aging curve if he hopes to salvage his contract, and Father Time is already in hot pursuit.
2. Jordan Walker will win Rookie of the Year
Rookie outfielder Jordan Walker hit his first bomb of the year on Wednesday, Albert Pujols 2.0 is now third in the major leagues in balls hit at least 95 mph, and he is tied for fourth in batting average in at-bats concluding with a breaking ball. It seems that every time he hits the ball, it becomes a missile.
The only small issue is his preponderance of ground balls, but he has the jets to leg a lot of them out anyway. No other rookie is as exciting as Walker; his eventual Rookie of the Year Award will be a good start to the trophy collection on his fireplace mantel.
3. Oliver Marmol has lost the clubhouse
After manager Oliver Marmol publicly reprimanded Tyler O'Neill for his lack of hustle on a play at the plate against the Atlanta Braves, the rest of the Cardinals remained silent as O'Neill expressed his displeasure regarding the callout.
There could be a history of conflict between Marmol and O'Neill that finally came to a head after that game, and if O'Neill is shipped out of town, the Cardinals' clubhouse could stage a mutiny. Marmol is becoming a pariah, and the comparisons to Mike Matheny will grow louder, especially if the team keeps losing.
I want to reiterate that this article was purely tongue-in-cheek. I am not actually leaping to any of these conclusions, but from an extremely zoomed-out view, these are three points that someone could surmise based on the first few games this year.