4. Miles Mikolas
Miles Mikolas appears to be someone Cardinal fans have soured on lately. From 2018-2022, Mikolas was consistently healthy and he reached the 200-inning mark in two of the seasons; he did not pitch in 2020, and he only pitched 44.2 innings in 2021. Miles has been excellent at limiting walks, but he has struggled at limiting hits during his career. He is a true workhorse who has a decent ceiling.
In 2023, Mikolas started a league-high 35 games. He had a 4.78 ERA, 4.27 FIP, 1.316 WHIP, and a 3.51 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He pitched 201.1 innings but allowed 226 hits and 107 runs. His 91 ERA+ was underwhelming, to say the least. Mikolas particularly struggled during the end of the season, for his ERA in August, September, and October was well above 5.50.
Mikolas and Matz could be interchangeable depending on Matz's health and Mikolas's performance in 2024. If Mikolas can return to his old self where he had an ERA below 4.50 again with the potential to pitch in 35 games and 200 innings, then he would be a great starter. If he continues to struggle with allowing hits, then hopefully Matz can be healthy and leapfrog him.
Mikolas's inclusion on this roster provides innings assurance for the team. He has been healthy throughout his career, and he even has the potential to be an All-Star. Mikolas's career 3.78 ERA in St. Louis is a strong number, but he may be past his best years. An ERA near 4.25 out of your fourth starter is a strong stat.