5. The philosophies of the new coaches
Jeff Albert and Mike Maddux departed for other teams after last season, and the Cardinals replaced them with new hitting coach Turner Ward and new pitching coach Dusty Blake. These new coaches and their approaches could be a breath of fresh air for the Cardinals.
Paul Goldschmidt has a history with Ward, who worked in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system when Goldschmidt was ascending the ladder to the major leagues, and he served as the Cardinals' assistant hitting coach in 2022. Goldschmidt was often seeing consulting with Ward late last season as well. Manager Oliver Marmol waxed poetic about Ward, saying Ward knows swings well and knows how to mentally prepare a hitter. His ability to explain analytics to hitters could be a big improvement from that of Jeff Albert.
Blake was the Cardinals' pitching strategist for two seasons before his promotion to pitching coach. His analytical mindset comes from his days as the pitching coach at Duke University, where he began using technology such as Trackman to help his pitchers succeed. Whether Blake continues Maddux's pitch-to-contact philosophy or blazes a new trail is worth watching.
If you're an avid Cardinals viewer, there is ample reason to be excited about 2023. It will be fascinating to see how these stories play out during the season, so prepare to settle in and watch another 162-game odyssey unfold