After an offseason full of hope, the season ends with more questions than answers after a disastrous-filled season that ended in a 71-91 record. St. Louis Cardinals fans may be spoiled, but this season had problems that should have been addressed before the season even started.
A jolt of stubbornness from the front office to those on the field played a significant role in the terrible season that stunned a fan base used to a winning team that always found a way. While there were some glimpses of success, the 2023 Cardinals could not find a way to put together a winning product consistently.
With the playoffs in full swing, and even the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers out of it, the Cardinals are left to review what happened this year. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak seems set on getting pitching. Hopefully, he's realized other areas need to be addressed.
Manager Oli Marmol said in his final press conference of the season that he's hoping to see the team "weed out" the non-team-focused players. While he didn't name names, he has done so several times during the season, and one could probably look over the list of players he's criticized to see who he may be referring to.
Let's' discuss some of the horrible decisions the Cardinals made and must rectify to improve for 2024.
Cardinals Horrible Moves: Not adding pitching prior to 2023 season
The Cardinals went into the offseason in 2022 and concentrated on getting a top-tier catcher to replace legendary Yadier Molina. They were able to sign Willson Contreras to a five-year deal worth $87.5 million.
The Cardinals had other needs. But Mozeliak was done. He had Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, Steven Matz, and maybe a minor leaguer in Jake Woodford and Matthew Liberatore. Dakota Hudson even got in the mix. Except for Montgomery, Mozeliak ignored that none of these pitchers have been healthy or coming off good years. There was always something.
Mozeliak insisted that he would have a successful gamble in betting on these pitchers to come up clutch for them. He has some other talent in the minor leagues if he needs more. They will be ok.
The Cardinals, however, were not ok. Every pitcher the Cardinals gambled with to start the year failed miserably to prove they were proven pitchers to count on.
It took Mozeliak about two weeks before the trade deadline to admit he was wrong about the pitching staff. Even then, he only made moves geared toward the future.