The St. Louis Cardinals had some coaching changes early during the 2022 off-season, with one of the more surprising changes coming after former pitching coach Mike Maddux stepped away from the role. Dusty Blake was named the new pitching coach for the 2023 season, and Miles Mikolas had a lot of good things to say about him.
When asked by Jim Hayes about Blake, Mikolas said the following.
"Dusty is great. Dusty helped a lot of us out last year. He's very good with the analytical stuff, you know, your spins rates and your usage. But he's also a really good mechanics guy and his scouting reports are pretty good. So we'll just have to see if his jokes are as good as Mad Dog's. Mad Dog was a big jokester so we'll see if his one liners can keep up."- Miles Mikolas
Dusty Blake's hiring has flown a bit under-the-radar this off-season but could be a huge improvement for the Cardinals pitching staff. Blake is continually praised for his ability to understand and utilzie analystics, but also speak to pitchers about their mechanics and in-game adjustments.
Between having a rotation that many are not sold on, as well as a brand-new catcher behind the plate for the first time in almost two decades, there are a lot of variables that will play into the success of the Cardinals' pitching staff. The club will need Blake to provide a steady precense for the club all year long.
On top of working with Contreras and the club's veteran starters, it will be interesting to see how Blake works with some of the Cardinals younger arms that are coming up to St. Louis. Blake's approach will likely appeal to them in a different way, and could boost their performance when they arive in St. Louis.