What to expect from Cardinals' internal pitching options in 2024

John Mozeliak has said the team plans to add three starting pitchers this offseason. That's a tall task. There are still some internal options that can help in the rotation.

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RHP Gordon Graceffo

Gordon Graceffo was drafted in the 5th round of the 2021 draft out of Villanova. Graceffo has been and is primarily known for his ability to locate his pitches. He doesn't have many wipeout pitches, and he is able to spot his fastball well. His strikeout rates have always been right around 9 strikeouts per 9 innings, and he most recently struck out 81 batters in 86 innings in AAA Memphis.

Graceffo encountered a setback this past season. He experienced shoulder inflammation in May, and that forced him to miss about two months. He didn't pitch very well in his return from injury; he had an 8.03 ERA in only 12 innings in the month of September. He walked 10 batters to 14 strikeouts.

For someone who hasn't quite made it to the majors yet, Graceffo could leapfrog Thompson and Liberatore and make it in the rotation in 2024. He won't strike out many batters, but he will limit the damage from the opposing team. Graceffo will require a stout defense behind him. He has seen batters hit the ball in the air more against him recently, and that is a bit concerning.

Should Graceffo have a strong Spring Training showing, it is possible he will provide strong innings in the 5th spot of the rotation. He won't allow many big hits, but he also won't strike out the side. His floor is obvious; it's his challenges with strikeouts that would make it tough for him to crack the starting rotation in the majors in 2024.