5 Cardinals players who could be the difference between success and failure in 2024

These players could make 2024 a winner for the Cardinals or a complete disaster

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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Giovanny Gallegos

The warning signs for Giovanny Gallegos' ineffectiveness showed before the regular season started. With Mexico knocking on the door of the World Baseball Classic Championship round, Giovanny Gallegos was set to close out Japan. However, without retiring a single batter, Gallegos allowed two runs and quickly broke the hearts of Mexican fans as Shohei Ohtani and his teammates celebrated at home plate en route to a championship title.

Like his blowup outings with the Cardinals in 2023, Gallegos was extremely hit-or-miss. In outings where he allowed one home run, he almost always allowed a second. When things went wrong, they went very wrong for Giovanny Gallegos in 2023. While the responsibility falls upon manager Oliver Marmol to recognize these faults in his pitching staff, Gallegos can also prevent unnecessary losses by limiting the damage as best he can.

While the Cardinals have made significant bullpen additions in the veteran Andrew Kittredge and the intriguing Nick Robertson, Gallegos can be a stabilizing fixture in the backend of the St. Louis bullpen as he has been for many seasons. Hopefully, the bullpen will be less overworked with the additions of Gray, Lynn, and Gibson being able to routinely give the Cardinals quality starts and Giovanny Gallegos will be able to rebound in 2024.

However, if Gallegos continues to slide and isn't able to regain the consistency he's had for the majority of his Cardinals tenure, the bullpen will lose a much-needed high-leverage arm putting even more pressure on Ryan Helsley, whose availability has always been a question mark. Gallegos' effectiveness could be the difference between a playoff berth and elimination in September.