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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2. Can the position player group remain healthy for a full season?

Here's a very odd fact about the 2023 Cardinals - the club's top seven hitters (Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Gorman, Jordan Walker, Lars Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, and Willson Contreras) played in just ten games together during the entire season. That means in 94% of the games the Cardinals played in 2023, their best offensive lineup was not in the game.

Here are the games played for each of the Cardinals' best position players in 2023:

154 G - Paul Goldschmidt
144 G - Nolan Arenado
137 G - Tommy Edman
125 G - Willson Contreras
119 G - Nolan Gorman
117 G - Lars Nootbaar
117 G - Jordan Walker*
107 G - Alec Burleson
95 G - Brendan Donovan
76 G - Dylan Carlson
37 G - Masyn Winn*
13 G - Ivan Herrera*

*Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, and Ivan Herrera all spent varrying amounts of time in Triple-A last year.

Only four Cardinals starters played in over 120 games last year. Gorman, Walker, Nootbaar, and Donovan, who many believe are crucial to the lineup becoming truly dangerous in 2024, all played in 119 or fewer games. Gorman and Donovan were arguably the club's best hitters when healthy last year. Walker was getting better and better as the year went on.

Each of those seven hitters has the potential to have really, really good seasons for the Cardinals. They've all either put together full seasons of that production before, or at least very prolonged stretches. The question is, can the Cardinals' position player core actually remain healthy enough to realize their full potential?

The club can weather a few injuries as the year goes on. Good teams have to be able to do that. But for the majority of their players to miss signifcant time is not something this club can afford to have happen again in 2024.