The 6 biggest concerns we have about the Cardinals as the 2024 season begins

We are just days away from the Cardinals' 2024 season beginning, but there are still many concerns that fans and experts have about the club.

Mar 7, 2024; Jupiter, Florida, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) pitches
Mar 7, 2024; Jupiter, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) pitches / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Was now really the time to give Oli Marmol a "vote of confidence" extension?

I like Oli Marmol, but I did not like the decision to extend him before the season started.

I understand the rationale that the Cardinals gave, but I'd simply respond to it by saying "I don't think you can afford to buy him that vote of confidence right now". Even as someone who is a believer in Marmol as the Cardinals' manager, the massive PR hit that the Cardinals took with that decision was not worth it in my opinion.

Marmol had a really good season in 2022 and a really bad season in 2023. His contract was up after the 2024 season. Why not just let him play things out and see where they go? And if you were that concerned about locking him up in March, maybe you should have taken care of it in November?

Here's the cynical view of that decision, and one I think may be correct. If the Cardinals were worried about underperforming to begin the year and how that could reflect on Marmol's ability to manage, then that may be John Mozeliak's subtle way of acknowledging the flaws this roster has and believing that there's a world where his manager cannot change the fact that this club is not good enough. At the very least, Mozeliak is not going to let himself be surprised by a terrible start like he was in 2023.

At the time of writing this, Yadier Molina still has not shown up to Cardinals' camp, so it's becoming really muddy as to what his actual role with this club is going to be. As of right now, he seems to be a much bigger threat to Marmol's job in fans' eyes than in the eyes of the front office. I don't think that reality, or the fact that Marmol just got an extension, actually means they won't fire him midseason if things are going poorly. They did it with Mike Matheny before, and they won't be afraid to put the blame on Marmol if they need to.

So, why give him the extension then? Honestly, I don't really think it matters all that much, but knowing the outrage it's caused amongst their fans, I think ownership and the front office should have held off on that kind of move until the results on the field backed it up.