There was a time when Matthew Liberatore was a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. The left-handed pitcher had a devastating curveball, and he reminded some fans of Uncle Charlie, #50 Adam Wainwright. Libby has fallen from that pedestal these past few years. The lost minor league season in 2020 could have hurt his development, but he returned in 2021 at the AAA level in Memphis for St. Louis.
In 2021 and 2022 with Memphis, Liberatore had a 4.64 ERA in 239.2 innings. He struck out exactly nine batters per nine innings in those two seasons to go along with a mild walk rate. In Liberatore's limited time in the majors (96.1 innings), he has a 5.51 ERA, 4.54 FIP, and a 1.567 WHIP. Liberatore's low ERA and high FIP indicate that he has been bailed out by his defense on more than one occasion. His strikeout numbers are significantly lower (6.9 per nine innings) than they had been in the past for him.
Given Liberatore's struggles at the major league level and the Cardinals' signings of Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Sonny Gray, he runs the risk of not making the major league roster. The team needs relievers, particularly ones who can pitch multiple innings at a time. I would imagine Zack Thompson is above Matthew Liberatore in that pecking order.
St. Louis will need starting pitchers in 2025 if they don't bring on more starting pitchers next offseason. Liberatore will be stretched out, but I don't foresee him making the major league roster in 2024 right out of the gates, especially if John Mozeliak adds a reliever or another starting pitcher. He still has one more minor league option as well, opening the opportunity for him to start in Memphis.