The 10 Cardinals with the most to prove during Spring Training

Coming off a terrible 2023 season, these ten Cardinals have a lot to prove as Spring Training gets underway.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs - Game One
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs - Game One / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals know they have to turn things around in 2024. Repeating what happened last year will further deteriorate the trust of this fan base and potentially result in some huge changes in St. Louis. Ownership, the front office, coaching staff, and players all know what is at stake.

There are varying levels of opinions as to how good of a job the Cardinals did this offseason at repairing the issues from the season prior, but it's clear that the club itself believes they've done enough to right the ship, and now all that matters is what the on-field results show us.

With all of that being the case, there are a ton of Cardinals who have something to prove this year, with these 10 standing out above the rest.

Miles Mikolas

Fresh off signing a two-year extension with the Cardinals during last year's Spring Training that locked in Mikolas through the 2024 season, the right-hander followed up his All-Star 2022 with a major step back in 2023.

Though Mikolas was durable and threw over 200 innings once again, he did so to the tune of a 4.78 ERA, allowing the most hits in all of Major League Baseball and the most earned runs in the National League. Not exactly what the Cardinals were looking for when they handed out that pricey extension.

The lack of strikeout stuff in Mikolas' game hurt him big time with the new rule changes, but it's also clear his stuff took a step back in 2023 as well, with his sinker grading out as one of the 20 worst pitches in baseball last year.

Mikolas makes $16 million annually for the next two seasons and has to produce at a higher level to justify that number for St. Louis. While I have a hard time believing Mikolas can pitch like a number two starter again, I do think he has it in him to be an innings eater at the back end of the rotation who produces better than he did in 2023. Honestly, that's kind of the bare minimum they can get from him for his contract to not be a complete disaster.

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