Jack Flaherty will finish top 5 in Cy Young voting in 2023
This one is a bit less defensible than the Tyler O'Neill prediction, but it is very similar. Flaherty showed flashes of greatness when he finished 4th in NL Cy Young voting in 2019 after a monster second half, but never really pitched that well ever again. 2020 was a lost season for most Cardinals players after a midseason COVID outbreak, and 2021 started strong until Flaherty suffered an oblique injury while batting in May.
Flaherty again suffered multiple setbacks in 2022 and only made 8 starts, but he appeared set for his first full healthy season since 2019 going into 2023, thus our optimism in his potential bounce back. While injuries weren't a concern, his performance took a major step back from 2019. He showed flashes of greatness but was extremely inconsistent. His start against the Los Angeles Angels, which he recalled in a recent interview, was particularly dreadful. Through 2.1 innings, he allowed 10 earned runs on 9 hits and 1 walk in a game Mike Trout did not even start.
After being traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the Trade Deadline, Jack Flaherty's minimal hopes of receiving any Cy Young consideration were completely washed away. The Cardinals managed a solid return from Baltimore, but Flaherty's 6.75 ERA was so abysmal that he didn't even finish top 5 in the Orioles rotation much less top 5 in Cy Young voting.
At only 28 years old, however, Flaherty still has a chance to bounce back after signing a 1-year contract with the Detroit Tigers. Hopefully, he will perform well after a rocky run in St. Louis and earn himself a payday next offseason.