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St. Louis Cardinals Current Pitchers for 2023 (At A Glance)

Adam Wainwright photo credit: Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals obviously have the glaring need for a catcher this offseason, and per normal are also looking for a left handed bat. But when it comes to pitching, they are always in that market too and this offseason is no exception.

In my opinion, the top-tier/elite free agent pitching doesn’t necessarily “have” to be a top priority for the club, as they currently have a plethora of options for their rotation. But pitching additions should at least be considered as they are a bit lacking of a true ace on the staff that can match up with the top teams across the league.

Drew VerHagen photo credit: Rhona Wise/USA Today Sports

Right or wrong, many Cardinals fans view the way that the front office addresses the pitching staff to be in the form of quantity over quality. They see them shopping for bargain arms & reclamation projections when it comes to free agency and that they also rely too heavily on pitching prospects reaching full potential.

Miles Mikolas photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

Sometimes this works out, sometimes it does not.

Regardless, the Cardinals have a lot of internal options as far as pitching is concerned for next season, so let’s take a look at the current arms that St. Louis has heading into 2023.

Current starting options include:

  • 27-yr old RHP Jack Flaherty: 2022 stats: 2-1, 4.25 ERA, 33 K, 36 innings. (8 starts)

  • 34-yr old RHP Miles Mikolas: 2022 stats: 12-13, 3.29 ERA, 153 K, 202.1 innings (32 starts)

  • 41-yr old RHP Adam Wainwright: 2022 stats: 11-12, 3.71 ERA, 143 K, 191.2 innings (32 starts)

  • 30-yr old LHP Jordan Montgomery: 2022 stats: 9-6, 3.48 ERA, 158 K, 178.1 innings (32 starts)

  • 28-yr old RHP Dakota Hudson: 2022 stats: 8-7, 4.45 ERA, 78 K, 139.2 innings (26 starts)

  • 31-yr old LHP Steven Matz 2022 stats: 5-3, 5.25 ERA, 54 K, 48 innings (10 starts)

  • 24-yr old RHP Andre Pallante 2022 stats: 6-5, 3.17 ERA, 73 K, 108 innings (10 starts)

  • 26-yr old RHP Jordan Hicks 2022 stats: 3-6, 4.84 ERA, 63 K, 61.1 innings (8 starts)

  • 25-yr old LHP Zack Thompson 2022 stats: 1-1, 2.08 ERA, 27 K, 34.2 innings (1 start)

  • 23-yr old LHP Matthew Liberatore 2022 stats: 2-2, 5.97 ERA, 28 K, 34.2 innings (7 starts)

  • 26-yr old RHP Jake Woodford 2022 stats: 4-0, 2.23 ERA, 24 K, 48.1 innings (1 start)

  • 27-yr old LHP Packy Naughton 2022 stats: 0-2, 4.78 ERA, 31 K, 32 innings (3 starts)

  • 32-yr old RHP Drew VerHagen 2022 stats: 3-1, 6.65 ERA, 18 K, 21.2 innings (0 starts)

That’s 12 returning pitchers with at least one start last season, with VerHagen still being considered despite not having one in 2022.

The Cardinals also recently added 24-yr old LHP Connor Thomas to their 40-man roster who was named Pitcher of the Year in the Arizona Fall League this offseason.

Obviously the Cardinals won’t be utilizing several of the above pitchers in starting roles at the big league level, but it does go to show just how many arms they currently have that could get a look.

The rest will either start the season in Memphis, or be delegated to the bullpen to join the likes of these reliever options:

  • 28-yr old RHP Ryan Helsley 2022 stats: 9-1, 1.25 ERA, 19 SV, 94 K, 64.2 innings

  • 31-yr old RHP Giovanny Gallegos 2022 stats: 3-6, 3.05 ERA, 14 SV, 73 K, 59 innings

  • 32-yr old RHP Chris Stratton 2022 stats: 10-4, 4.26 ERA, 23 K, 22.2 innings

  • 26-yr old LHP Genesis Cabrera 2022 stats: 4-2, 4.63 ERA, 1 SV, 32 K, 44.2 innings

  • 26-yr old LHP JoJo Romero 2022 stats: 0-0, 4.96 ERA, 17 K, 16.1 innings

  • 28-yr old RHP Kodi Whitley 2022 stats: 2-0, 5.68 ERA, 12 K, 12.1 innings

Something that I’m sure the Cardinals are also taking into consideration is that a number of these players are in the final season of club control.

Adam Wainwright photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat /Getty Images

Adam Wainwright signed a 1-year deal with the team earlier this offseason that’s worth $17.5M (w/ $10M deferred at a rate of $1M per year from 2024-2033). He has stated that this will be his last season, so upon his retirement will open up a spot in the 2024 rotation.

Miles Mikolas photo credit:

Miles Mikolas is in the final season of the 4-yr/$68M contract extension that he signed back in 2019.

Jack Flaherty photo credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, Jordan Hicks, Chris Stratton & Drew VerHagen will all be unrestricted free agents at the end of this season (although I expect the Cardinals to be in play on 2 if not all 3 players re-signing). But if not, leaves just Dakota Hudson (who’s a free agent at the end of 2024) and Steven Matz (who has 3 years remaining of the 4-yr/$44M contract) remaining outside of the pre-arb/arb-eligible pitchers.

While the needs of a catcher and some offensive improvements are atop the Cardinals priority list (and rightfully so), it will be interesting to see if the club feels comfortable going into next season with this current pitching staff.

With injuries being almost a certainty in today’s game, it never hurts to add to the assortment of arms already in-house. Signing a legit available starter could also deepen the bullpen by pushing one of the current starters there to become a multi-inning reliever.

Dusty Blake photo credit: St. Louis Cardinals (Twitter)

The Cardinals could also experiment with a six-man rotation, which may benefit the way the pitching is set to be structured. New pitching coach Dusty Blake will surely entertain all avenues to get the most out the arms he has to work with.

What say you, Cardinals Nation? Are you confident in the current state of the rotation & bullpen? Do you think St. Louis should target a legit ace or even a middle of the rotation arm to solidify the staff going forward? Let us know in the comments.

As always thanks for reading & Go Cards!

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