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
2 of 5

4. Starting Rotation

As was expected when I started this process, the starting rotation was voted as the worst positional group, sans the coaching staff. This tracks, as the starters were the worst group last year, and the additions were marginally better this offseason. Jordan Montgomery, Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, and Jack Flaherty were replaced with Sonny Gray, Kyle Gibson, and Lance Lynn. Two of those three newcomers don't exactly strike fear into opposing hitters.

The injury to Sonny Gray cuts a deeper hole in this group's potential. For a collection of players that was already lackluster, losing its ace for a couple of weeks to start the season is a serious blow. Everyone will shift up a spot in the rotation as a result of Gray's injury.

It is fitting that the starting rotation was voted as the 4th-best group on the team given its low ceiling and unstable floor. While Miles Mikolas, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson will all likely be near the top of the league in innings pitched in 2024; the quality of those innings is absolutely in question. Steven Matz's health is also in question, and with Sonny Gray missing at least 3 starts in April, the team is relying on young pitchers who aren't proven yet.

Zack Thompson, Matthew Liberatore, and Drew Rom are the organization's #6-#8 starting pitchers when Sonny Gray is healthy. Those are fine pitchers to fill in during injuries. However, they are being called on already to cover for Sonny Gray. Now, the team has a collection of fourth or fifth starting pitchers for the first 4 spots of the rotation and fillers in the fifth spot of the rotation.

Cardinal starters racked up 11.7 fWAR last year. That was the 20th-best total in baseball. One more high-end pitcher via trade or free agency would be a great boost to a rotation that needs another pitcher near the top.