The Cardinals can construct their lineup a number of ways in 2023
There are a variety of storylines facing the St. Louis Cardinals as they approach Spring Training in under a month. While there is some reason to be frustrated at their current pitching situation, there should be a lot of excitement surrounding the starting lineup.
Over the last few weeks, the Cardinals have been ranked a top 5 lineup in all of baseball, and the 2023 ZiPS projections are expecting big things from St. Louis this coming season. While some have focused their energy on why the Cardinals would hold onto so many options when they have needs on the pitching side of things, I argued that their hesitancy to move any of this depth at the moment was wise for ensuring the lineup is successful this year.
One of the things that have frustrated Cardinals' fans for years is the lack of options the organization has for the lineup. In recent seasons, especially before the addition of Nolan Arenado, it felt like the club was scratching and clawing just to have 3-4 reliable hitters in their lineup, and often had to field and order full of underperforming bats or streaky hitters, as that was all they had. The best teams have the ability to field a lineup that can do damage on a daily basis, and the elite lineups have the depth to rotate players, whether it is in a platoon or for rest, and still put up runs every day.
For the first time in recent memory, the Cardinals can confidently say they are one of those teams.
In those ZiPS projections, ten different Cardinals have 80th percentile projections to be at least 15% above league average, and that does not even include Jordan Walker or Tommy Edman, who will both factor into the lineup next year and should also join that conversation at the very least. In fact, nine of those ten players, according to those projections, have the ability to be at least 27% above league average, making this lineup extremely dangerous on a daily basis.
With all that being said, there are multiple ways the Cardinals can construct their lineup next season based on matchups, who is hot at the moment, and when they need to rest some of their stars. Here are five different ways the Cardinals can construct their lineup in 2023.