Looking back at the 7 starters who the Cardinals failed to develop into an ace

How on earth have the Cardinals not developed an ace in recent memory? Well, these 7 prospects all had a chance, but never realized that potential with St. Louis for a variety of reasons

St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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Jack Flaherty

The Jack Flaherty era in St. Louis came to an end at this year's trade deadline. After so many failed arms in the Cardinals' pipeline, Flaherty looked like the guy who could finally fill that void for the Cardinals.

In 2018, Flaherty made 28 starts, posting a 3.34 ERA across 151 innings of work with a 10.8 SO/9 for St. Louis. At age 22, Flaherty was already showcasing the kind of swing and miss stuff needed to lead a rotation.

During the second half of 2019, to say it all came together for him would be a massive understatement. His 0.91 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and .142 OPP BA during that second half was historically good, and although no one expected him to repeat that performance ever, his final season statline of a 2.75 ERA over 196.1 innings seemed like who he was becoming.

The 2020 season was a miss for Flaherty, but he regained his form in 2021, going 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA but suffered from shoulder injuries throughout. During his final season and a half as a Cardinal, Flaherty threw just 151.2 innings and had a 4.27 ERA.

\Once again, it feels like another career robbed by the injury bug and showcases just how important it is to constantly be building pitching depth in your organization.