The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments in 2023. However, there is one area that is meeting, or even exceeding, expectations.
The Cardinals lineup has lived up to expectations this year. They have six players worth 2.0 or more offensive WAR this season, trailing only the Braves (seven) in that category. St. Louis could have a seventh member of that group as well as Tommy Edman is closing in on that mark.
St. Louis Cardinals have clear issue heading into offseason
It should not be a surprise that the Cardinals’ lineup has found success. Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, and Willson Contreras are a strong core to build around. The problem is that the other three players over 2.0 offensive WAR – Nolan Gorman, Lars Bootbaar, and Brendan Donovan – are on the Injured List. Nonetheless, the Cardinals are third in the NL with a .765 OPS entering Monday.
The overall success of their lineup also furthers the Cardinals’ offseason plans. General manager John Mozeliak already stated that the rotation was a priority, with the team looking to add at least three starters in free agency. While the Cardinals do have several intriguing young arms on the horizon, potential does not win championships. Results do. The Cardinals may have felt they had the depth to contend, but they learned otherwise.
As it is, the Cardinals are considered a team that could catapult back into the postseason chase next year. Improving their pitching staff would certainly be a step in that direction. Fortunately, the Cardinals do not appear to have any issues with their lineup that they will need to address. It is even possible that, as their younger players develop, the lineup will be even better next year.
The St. Louis Cardinals have plenty of work to do this offseason. Fortunately, they have their lineup already in place.