6 difficult roster decisions the St. Louis Cardinals must address ASAP

The St. Louis Cardinals need to make some decisions about their roster, and fast.
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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5. How many more chances can the Cardinals give Dylan Carlson before moving on from him?

I feel bad for Dylan Carlson, I really do. But things have just taken a nose dive for him since the summer of 2022, and it may be time to cut their losses with him and move on once the club gets healthy again - or if they just decide to make one of those upgrades sooner and use him as part of that package.

On the season, Carlson is slashing .175/.277/.211 with 0 HR in 65 PA, occurring -0.5 WAR and posting a 52 wRC+. Even when Carlson struggled in the past, you could count on him to excel against left-handed pitching and play really solid defense, but even those have been in decline as of late.

It's a shame really. Carlson looked like a guy who was ready to rebound this year during Spring Training, but a collision with Jordan Walker in an exhibition game against the Cubs put him on the injured list to begin the year. Carlson played just 76 games in 2023 mostly due to injury and missed a lot of the second half of 2022 as well with injuries, so that is becoming a major theme in his career. He's also taken multiple steps back offensively year over year and looks nowhere near to the guy he was in 2021 when he finished 3rd in National League Rookie of the Year voting with a 111 wRC+ and 2.4 WAR season.

Carlson was a top-20 prospect in all of baseball not all that long ago, and I'm sure he still has a lot of that ability within him, but a change of scenery is likely needed for both sides at this point. When the Cardinals are fully healthy, Carlson is behind Nootbaar, Walker, Burleson, Donovan, Edman, and probably even Michael Siani on the depth chart now, and I think the Cardinals can get better use out of this roster spot and value by finding someone who wants to bet on his talent. He's had ample opportunities to prove himself for the Cardinals, but time has run out, and the only thing keeping his roster spot safe right now for me is that sheer about of injuries the Cardinals are dealing with.

Again, it is nothing against Carlson, I just think both sides are better off figuring out what Carlson's future looks like beyond his time in St. Louis sooner rather than later. Maybe he can help them acquire that bullpen arm or even be a part of a package to get a right-handed bat or starting pitcher?