Ranking positional groups for the St. Louis Cardinals

Which group of players is the strongest for the 2024 St. Louis Cardinals?

Sep 23, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46)
Sep 23, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 5
Next

A baseball team can be separated into 4 different groups: the outfielders and the designated hitter, the infielders and the catcher, the starting rotation, and the bullpen. Additionally, the coaching staff itself deserves a separate grouping.

A good practice when evaluating the team's potential success in a season is to break down each group and analyze its strengths and weaknesses. In the case of the St. Louis Cardinals, there is clearly a weak group out of these 5, and there is clearly one group of players that will lead the pack in 2024.

I recently posted a poll on Twitter/X asking fans of the Cardinals which group they believed was the strongest. While I largely agree with the results, there is one particular group that I don't think is receiving enough respect for next year.

Let's rank the 5 different positional groups for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2024.

5. Coaching Staff

This was probably no surprise if you're in touch with Cardinal Twitter. The vitriol toward Oli Marmol and his staff is palpable on a daily basis. I discussed his blame in a past article, and after analyzing aspects of a game a manager does have some impact on, Marmol wouldn't get a passing grade for last season's performance.

Behind a questionable manager, the Cardinals have new-hire Daniel Desclaso as their bench coach, Dusty Blake as their pitching coach, and Turner Ward as their hitting coach. Marmol, Blake, and Ward are relative veterans on the staff while Descalso is in his first year as a coach.

Dusty Blake was brought on staff as a pitching specialist before the 2021 season. Blake was previously the pitching coach for the Duke Blue Devils. The Cardinals hired him to bring new and innovative ideas to the organization. He has headed two sub-par pitching staffs since his arrival.

Turner Ward was also promoted to his current role in 2022. Prior to his hitting coach role with the Cardinals, Ward was the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. He has helped the team have a top-10 offense in each year since his promotion.

The coaching staff is typically the first to be blamed when things go wrong, and while there is some credence to those claims for firings, they are largely reactive and unfounded. However, if the 2024 season starts off the same way as the 2023 season did, fans can expect these coaching roles to be adjusted quickly.