4 St. Louis Cardinals who need to step up before it's too late

The last place Cardinals are running out of time and patience
Nolan Gorman
Nolan Gorman / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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1. Pitching

Pitching has been a major issue for the Cardinals for many seasons now.

When it was more than apparent this offseason that pitching would be needed to help bolster the staff, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak did nothing to help the pitching staff, which will only have two pitchers signed after this season in Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz, who has been moved to the bullpen.

The Cards are relying on Mikolas and Adam Wainwright, who is in his final season as a baseball player, as their ace. Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery are each in their last arbitration seasons and will be free agents after this season unless the Cardinals sign them. Prospect Matthew Liberatore has made his way to the starting rotation.

The Cardinals have several pitching prospects developing in the minors, including Mike McGreevy, Gordon Graceffo, Cooper Hjerpe, and Tink Hence.

Their bullpen has needed some work as well. With Ryan Helsley on the injured list, Giovanny Gallegos and Genesis Cabrera have worked to hold down innings along with Andre Pallante, Chris Stratton, and Drew VerHagen. Tink Hence is a prospect that could be the Cardinals' closer in the future. In the meantime, flamethrowing righty Jordan Hicks has stepped up over the last week to close out three games. He finally looks like the relief pitcher the team has hoped to see him become.

Pitching can be highly volatile. The team has had so much turmoil in the pitching department led by a newcomer in pitching coach Dusty Blake. While Blake had previously been a pitching analyst for the Cardinals in previous seasons, he does have pitching coach experience at the collegiate level. It's not MLB experience, so he's been put in a trial-by-fire situation relying on his analytics knowledge to explain what he wants the staff to do. It would be great to have an experienced pitching coach, but Blake is the man in the position, and we must hope for the best.

It would be great to see Cardinals pitching get things together and gain the consistency needed to help keep the team in contention to win ball games for the rest of the season.

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More than any one player, getting the team's pitching staff on track will be vital to getting out of last place. If changes are not made with a veteran source outside the organization, this will continue to be the Cardinals' most frustrating concern.

Next. Cardinals all time lineup. Cardinals' All-Time Lineup based on WAR. dark