Honorable mentions: Gordan Graceffo, Michael McGreevy, and Drew Rom
During the offseason, Gordon Graceffo's name was one that the Cardinals were very bullish on. They did not want to consider moving him in any trade talks, and I don't really blame them. He was coming off a very promising year where he rose quickly through the system and was gaining national attention, and the Cardinals were so thin with their pitching organizationally.
Graceffo has not lit up the organization like he did last year, struggling with injuries, and has been inconsistent at best for the Memphis Redbirds this year. He'll likely get a shot in 2024 to pitch for St. Louis, but I don't see him being the first man up.
Michael McGreevy has had a decent year in Memphis, but the fact that the Cardinals still haven't called him up says a lot about how they feel about McGreevy. He's got a low-ceiling as a starter, projecting as a back-end starter at best. He doesn't miss bats (92 SO in 123.1 innings pitched) and has a 1.43 WHIP as well. My guess is St. Louis will want him to repeat Triple-A next year and continue to refine his stuff before his debut.
Drew Rom got his first start for St. Louis this week, and it wasn't pretty. Rom gave up 8 hits, 4 walks, and 6 earned runs while striking out 4 batters in just 3.2 innings of work against the Pirates. Talent-wise, you would take Graceffo and maybe McGreevy over him, but he was already on the 40-man roster which is why he got the call this week. He was also pretty good for Memphis since being acquired in the Flaherty deal.
Rom feels like a depth option right now for St. Louis, as the three other names on this list feel far more likely to get shots at the rotation before Rom does in 2024.