Cardinals Horrible Moves: Insisting on trusting the outfield
Another poor decision by the Cardinals was trusting the outfield they had going into the 2023 season. Dylan Carlson and Tyler O'Neill suffered injuries throughout the season. Even with efforts to stay healthy, Carlson and O'Neill spent significant time on the injured list.
Lars Nootbaar was another returning starter. While he was very successful in centerfield during the World Baseball Classic for Team Japan, he had his share of time on the injured list. Rookie phenom Jordan Walker was named the Opening Day right fielder after only a few months of learning the position. He struggled and was even demoted to Triple-A Memphis to retool his swing. But, he ended the season on a solid note.
The Cardinals had to turn to uber utility man Tommy Edman to take up some of the slack and play a brilliant center field for the Cardinals down the stretch. They also got help from Richie Palacios, who was traded to the Cardinals from the Guardians. Alec Burleson spent some time in the outfield as well.
The Cardinals knew what they had in the outfield going into this season. It's telling that there was a momentary thought of putting Conteras in left field at one point. This was quickly dismissed, though.
One or both of Carlson and O'Neill will be moved this offseason. Burleson may be a good trade piece as well. Nootbaar and Walker are definite untouchables. Edman will play wherever, but you also want him in the middle infield. Palacios is a fun bench option.
The Cardinals could use a good veteran outfielder with a power bat to pair with Walker and Nootbaar.