Cardinals pitching concerns return
Over the offseason, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he planned to increase salary for the 2023 seasons. Fans believed this was a signal the team would finally go out and sign a top-tier starting pitcher.
Unfortunately, not a single top-tier caliber pitcher was added over the offseason. This forces the Cardinals to rely on pitchers that have been generally frustrating in hopes that they have finally turned the corner and will miraculously be better.
One of those pitchers the Cardinals have been forced to rely on is Jake Woodford. He has taken the rotation spot of Adam Wainwright, who is on the injured list due to a groin injury. For some reason, Manager Oli Marmol likes and trusts Woodford.
That is hard to understand, especially after Monday. He pitched 4.1 innings, giving up seven hits, six earned runs, three walks, and three home runs. He did strike out three batters. He now has an ERA of 12.46.
Speaking of high ERAs, Jordan Hicks has not had an impressive start to the 2023 season. While he is allowed to throw pitches over 100 mph in hopes they will be effective, Hicks is missing the mark. In his third game of the season Monday, he threw two innings of work, giving up three hits, one walk, and two earned runs. He did strike out one batter.
Hicks has gotten off to an incredibly frustrating start out of the bullpen. It will be curious to see how Marmol and pitching coach Dusty Blake move forward with Hicks. Hicks is a good, young man with loads of potential. But, throwing at those high speeds without control, and not finding command otherwise is a recipe for disaster we're already witnessing.
It would have been ideal to have addressed pitching, starting, and relief, this past offseason. Now the Cardinals are forced to make do with what they have in hopes Mozeliak pulls the trigger on a trade deadline move.