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Saint Louis Cardinals 2023 Spring Training Preview

The Cardinals are coming off a division win and look to do it again with largely the same team, with two major exceptions.

Hot on the heels of a 93 win season, the Saint Louis Cardinals look to repeat an NL Central winning campaign in 2023.

Offseason Additions:

+ Willson Contreras, C, 5 years $87.5 MM


– Alex Reyes, RHP, 1 year $1.1 MM Los Angeles Dodgers

– Corey Dickerson, OF, 1 year $2.25 MM Washington Nationals

– Jose Quintana, RHP, 2 years $26 MM New York Mets

– Yadier Molina, Retirement

– Albert Pujols, Retirement


2022 was a relatively quiet offseason for the Cardinals, and the focus was more on players going out than those coming in. This offseason was headlined by the retirement of longtime backstop Yadier Molina and franchise legend Albert Pujols’ return to Los Angeles to be a special assistant.  Willson Contreras is the lone major league free agent acquisition, accompanied by a slew of minor league additions like Guillermo Zuniga, Wilking Rodriguez, Logan Sawyer, and many others. Contreras joins a Cardinals team already chock full of All Stars in Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Helsley, and Adam Wainwright.

Projected Opening Day Starters:

C: Willson Contreras

1B: Paul Goldschmidt

2B: Nolan Gorman

3B: Nolan Arenado

SS: Tommy Edman

LF: Tyler O’Neill

CF: Brendan Donovan

RF: Lars Nootbaar

DH: Dylan Carlson

Starting Rotation:

Adam Wainwright

Miles Mikolas

Jordan Montgomery

Jack Flaherty

Matthew Liberatore


Ryan Helsley

Giovanny Gallegos

Jordan Hicks

Dakota Hudson

Genesis Cabrera

Chris Stratton

Jojo Romero

Packy Naughton

Counting Cards:

Despite a quiet offseason, the Cardinals remained poised for another solid campaign in 2023. Both corner infielders Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt continue to perform at an All-Star level and Willson Contreras brings a solid bat to the Cardinals backstop as well. Super-utilityman Tommy Edman looks to be the fill in for a shortstop and the Cardinals offense will feature many young talents like Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, and Lars Nootbaar, all of whom have shown great promise in their short careers thus far.

As well as sustaining an excellent offense, the Cardinals prioritize maintaining elite defense as well. In 2022, the Cardinals finished fourth in the major leagues with +67 defensive runs saved (DRS), trailing only the Yankees, Dodgers, and Guardians. The defense will naturally take a small step down following the departure of Harrison Bader, but the Cardinals still have the tools to put up another great season with their gloves.

Should there be an unexpected injury in the field, potential Rookie of the Year Jordan Walker is ready to step up and mash.


The most volatile piece of the puzzle for the Red Birds will be their pitching. The aged Adam Wainwright had a fantastic season in 2021, posting a 3.05 ERA in 206.1 innings, striking out 174. While not quite as solid in 2022, Wainwright proved he might still have some gas in the tank despite his old age. Miles Mikolas was just the opposite, posting a solid 3.29 ERA in 2022 despite a rough 2021. Since 2019, Jack Flaherty has been injured and unremarkable and the pair of Steven Matz and Matthew Liberatore were dreadful last season. The trio of Matz, Flaherty, and Liberatore combined for a 5.20 ERA in 117.2 innings in 2022, and if Saint Louis hopes to rebound they are going to need a lot more out of their 3-4-5 pieces. Jordan Montgomery was very solid for the Cardinals in 2022, posting a 3.11 ERA in 63.2 innings.

Out in the bullpen, the Cards will rock with Ryan Helsley in the closer role. In 2022, Helsley posted a 1.25 ERA in 64.2 innings and converted 19 saves while recording 94 strikeouts.

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