The Cardinals have been busy so far this offseason. They checked a very important item off their to-do list when they signed three starting pitchers to bolster a collapsed rotation. One of those starters was Mizzou graduate Kyle Gibson.
Last season, Gibson posted an uninspiring 4.73 ERA with the Orioles, but he still won 15 games and gave them 192 innings. Gibson is somebody the Cardinals have had their eye on in the past. But finally, the Cardinals were able to bring him aboard.
There are just two weeks remaining on the 2023 calendar, meaning that the 2024 season is fast approaching. With that in mind, what can Cardinals fans expect out of Gibson this coming season?
What to expect out of Kyle Gibson
While Gibson is far from an ace and hasn't exactly had a legendary career thus far, that doesn't mean that this signing was a bad one. Personally, I would have preferred it if the Cardinals had tried for another one of the high-end starting pitchers, but I think they're probably done adding starters unless they've got some more tricks up their sleeves.
Over the course of his career, Gibson has been a workhorse. Again, he logged 192 innings during the regular season. His career-high came in 2018 when he pitched 196.2 innings during the regular season with the Twins.
So, at the very least, you're getting a guy who is going to give you innings and pitch deep into games, while also giving you a chance to win. He should be able to keep the Cardinals in games as long as he limits the damage.
For all the talk about the Cardinals needing swing-and-miss in their rotation, Gibson doesn't really provide that. He struck out 157 batters during the regular season, which isn't bad. He averaged 7.4 punchouts per nine innings.
But for the most part, he's a ground-ball guy. Despite the fact that swing-and-miss is typically what plays well in today's day and age, it's not a bad thing to have a ground-ball guy. A perfect example of this is Jordan Montgomery, who has yet to sign. As long as he can get guys out, that should be good for a team whose rotation struggled at that in 2023.
But beyond all of that, just like Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn, Gibson gives you a guy who has been through the grind of a 162-game season. He's a guy that will provide veteran leadership in a young clubhouse, while also holding everybody else accountable.
No, Gibson is not an ace, nor is this signing a sexy addition by any means. But Gibson should really help the Cardinals in 2024. I still stand by my statement that one more frontline starter is needed, but Gibson is a workhorse who should make the Cardinals better this coming season.