Three St. Louis Cardinals Players Who Need To Prove Themselves In 2023

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Written by; Curt Bishop

Twitter; @Bishopcurtis5



The St. Louis Cardinals are entering the 2023 season with a few question marks.
While their roster is talented and should be enough to win a weak NL Central division,
there are still a few things that need to be addressed. On top of that, there are several
players on the roster who need to prove their worth and reward the team’s faith in them.
As things stand, the Cardinals are not widely considered to be a World Series
contender. However, that could change if a few players can bounce back after finishing
the 2022 season on a down note. Here are three Cardinals players who need to prove
themselves in 2023.

Dylan Carlson

Carlson has been somewhat of a basket case for the Cardinals since his arrival in 2020.
The switch hitter found himself in the conversation for the NL Rookie of the Year Award
in 2021 after hitting .266 with 18 home runs, 65 RBI, and a .780 OPS.
However, Carlson took some steps back in 2022. He missed some time in May due to a
hamstring injury and was constantly plagued by an ongoing wrist issue that ultimately
cost him some playing time towards the end of the season.
The 24-year-old finished the season with just eight home runs and a .236 average. His
defense is still stellar, but he’ll need to find consistency at the plate if he is to secure the
starting center field job.

Paul DeJong

2023 may truly be DeJong’s last chance. The 29-year-old burst onto the scene in 2017
and secured the starting shortstop job. He enjoyed a 30-homer season in 2019 and was
selected to his first All-Star team.
However, he has been slowly declining since the 2020 season, which ultimately cost
him his job as the starting shortstop and resulted in him being sent down to Triple-A
Memphis in May of 2022. He showed flashes of brilliance upon his return, but finished
the season with a .157 average and a .531 OPS.
So far, he hasn’t been terribly impressive in spring training. Despite reworking his swing,
he has dealt with some nagging injuries and is hitting only .154 in Grapefruit Leagueplay. St. Louis will need him to return to his 2019 form in order to keep his spot on the

Adam Wainwright

This may seem like a nitpick, as the 41-year-old still enjoyed a successful 2022 season, finishing with a respectable 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. But things didn’t exactly end smoothly for Wainwright, whose mechanics faltered in September which caused a hitch in his delivery and a drop in velocity.
He allowed at least four runs in five of his final six regular season starts and ultimately
was not used in the postseason. While he pitched admirably last weekend for Team
USA in the World Baseball Classic, his velocity is still lower than normal, which could be
a cause for concern.
St. Louis re-signed him to a one-year, $17.5 million contract in the offseason. But if his velocity doesn’t improve soon and he continues to struggle, it might be worth
considering a move to the bullpen and a trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter.