The St. Louis Cardinals who will be most negatively impacted by MLB rule changes

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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The Cardinals' starting pitching

Like Pallante, it's been well documented that this Cardinals' pitching staff lacks strikeout stuff, especially in their starting rotation. Jack Flaherty's return should help with that, but outside of him, there is a lot of "pitch-to-contact" kind of guys.

In 2022, the St. Louis rotation ranked 26th in the league with a 6.98 SO/9, while they were a major beneficiary of ground ball outs, ranking 3rd with a 1.21 GO/AO. The way this Cardinals' pitching staff found success was by getting balls on the ground, and while that is not a bad strategy moving forward, it's not as effective as it once was.

The Cardinals' shouldn't expect to see guys like Adam Wainwright, Steven Matz, Miles Mikolas, or Jordan Montgomery all of a sudden be horrible pitchers, but like Pallante, regression could be on the table if they are not able to produce more swings and misses.

This could lead to the Cardinals leaning toward a more defensive-minded middle infield during the season if they are noticing major issues. Brendan Donovan could become the primary second baseman, or if things were bad enough, Tommy Edman could move over to second with Paul DeJong at shortstop.

Next. 3 Cardinals fighting for their careers. dark