3 St. Louis Cardinals with disappointing second halves

These players have really struggled since the All-Star Break. Let's break down the problems!

St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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2. Miles Mikolas

Coming into 2023, it was clear that Mikolas had to produce in order for the Cardinals to succeed. I, like most, assumed he would. Mikolas was coming off of a fantastic 2022 season, and it certainly seemed like he'd be able to continue his strong run. A strong spring only served to further inflate hopes. The Cardinals apparently liked what they saw, as they inked him to an extension late in the spring. He started 2023 pretty well, though he had definitely taken a step back.

Then, in the second half, the wheels came off. Since the break, Mikolas has been terrible. He's pitched in 11 games. In that span, he's covered just 60.2 innings or just about five inners per start. He's also allowed 42 earned runs in that span. That's good for an ERA of 6.23. This is simply unacceptable from a guy who's supposed to help anchor this rotation. Even if Mikolas isn't the ace, he's expected to pitch near the front of the rotation. The Cardinals are now locked into a two-year deal that pays Mikolas like a high-end starter. Hopefully, he can justify that investment. Unfortunately, right now, it seems that the move was misguided.

Mikolas has just a few starts left this season, but stringing together a couple of decent appearances would go a long way toward breeding optimism among fans. Mikolas' struggles have grabbed even more headlines because of the absence of Steven Matz, who was enjoying an excellent second half before an injury derailed his season. Hopefully, Mikolas can turn it around to salvage his season, though that seems fairly unlikely, especially this late in the campaign.