1. John Mozeliak
Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has been successful during his tenure with the Cardinals. He's made some great moves and deals to help this team. But this offseason, he made some decisions that could now be considered questionable.
At the top of that list is his decision not to make any moves to bolster the Cardinals starting rotation or the bullpen. The Cardinals are struggling now because of this decision. And his decision to make Dusty Blake the pitching coach is also proving harmful. The pitching staff is complaining about not being able to execute their pitches. The complaint will blow your mind if you think about it too long. Blake is probably more suited where he was as an analyst that can explain what precisely the analytics show the pitcher should do to execute those pitches. But the team needs a proven coach to coach and teach what needs to be done.
This weekend's announcement that Willson Contreras would, for the time being, take on the role of designated hitter is quite staggering, considering Contreras gets his catching duties stripped from him. Contreras was Mozeliak's big move to replace legendary catcher Yadier Molina, and it was believed he would occasionally be the team's designated hitter. According to reporting from Katie J. Woo of The Athletic, pitchers have had a bit of a learning curve relating to the differences between Molina and Contreras combined with the limitations of the pitching clock. While it seems like a fixed new pitching coach, Dusty Blake should be able to help pitchers and catchers, he has not. Now Contreras will be the team's designated hitter while he works being the catcher the organization expects him to be.
The team will depend on their backup catcher, Andrew Knizer, to fulfill the full-time catching duties. Knizner still has the mindset of a backup catcher. This weekend the team brought up another backup in Tres Barrera, who was outstanding in Spring Training for the Cardinals. Ivan Herrera, who was once believed to be the heir-apparent to Molina, is playing in Memphis, still developing.
For many seasons, fans have trusted Mozeliak's process. The start of this season is making it extremely hard to trust that process. Here's hoping that Mozeliak can right this ship for a successful season.