Cardinals: Five players under the most pressure entering the 2023 season

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Jack Flaherty

Jack Flaherty is entering his contract year with the Cardinals, making 2023 a pivotal moment in his career. If injuries continue to keep him off the mound, or he looks like a shell of his former self, his hopes of cashing in big time this coming off-season will shrink quite a bit.

When Flaherty has been healthy though, he's been one of the best pitchers in today's game. In his first two full seasons in the majors, Flaherty threw 347.1 innings with a 3.01 ERA and 10.7 SO/9. His excellence continued in 2021 when he posted a 3.22 ERA in 78.1 innings before his injuries began to take over.

If Flaherty is healthy this year, there is no reason to believe he won't be the front-line starter this club needs. Health is a concern, but if that is in the rearview mirror now, Flaherty changes this club's outlook in a major way.