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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John Mozeliak

If John Mozeliak and the Cardinals' organization stick to the current plan, this is the second to last Spring Training with Mozeliak as the President of Baseball Operations, meaning an almost two decades-long run in charge of the club is coming to an end rather soon.

Mozeliak won't lose his job between now and the end of the 2025 season unless he decides to step away from it. But there certainly is pressure on Mozeliak to right the ship after one of the worst seasons in franchise history, and there's an arguement that his legacy in St. Louis can be changed dramatically based on how 2024 and 2025 go for the club.

Mozeliak has a World Series on his resume and another National League pennant as well, but since around 2015, the club's postseason success has tappered off signifcantly and they have not won a playoff series since 2019. While Mozeliak has made a lot of great moves during his tenure, recent blunders like trading away Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen in the same deal or parting ways with Randy Arozarena has hurt the club significantly in recent years.

The young talent that has recently arrived in St. Louis and coming up through the system gives fans hope, but once again, pitching is going to be the greatest question mark for the club in 2024. Mozeliak decided to go with Gray, Lynn, and Gibson to rebuild the rotation while bringing in a wide mix of high-upside arms to their bullpen, and only time will tell if the bets Mozeliak made will pay off.

Even with ownership not spending as much as fans would like, it's ultimately up to Mozeliak to put a winning product on the field regardless. Club's like the Tampa Bay Rays have been able to do so for a number of years, so money can't be the main excuse.

Mozeliak will also be judged by the job he does setting up his future successor, whether that is Chaim Bloom, Randy Flores, Michael Girsch, or someone else. 2024 is a big year for Mozeliak, and Spring Training is the start of that.