The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten off to a rocky start to begin the 2023. Which three players are most to blame for the Cards slow start to the season?
Oh my, weren’t the St. Louis Cardinals supposed to be the class of the National League Central Division this season? In a division that’s home to the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cards are dead-last.
But how can that be? After all, it’s not like the NL Central is filled with world-beaters. Sure, the Milwaukee Brewers have some top-notch pitching, but so do the Cardinals, right? Right?
Eh, not so fast. In fact, the pitching staff is easily one of the biggest reasons for the team’s shortcomings thus far. While Jack Flaherty didn’t make the list, somehow the right-hander owns a 1.80 ERA despite issuing 13 walks through 10 innings pitched. That is not sustainable, and neither are St. Louis’s hopes for division title if these players continue to struggle.
3. Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks deserves some blame for St. Louis’ slow start
Jordan Hicks has a dynamic fastball, but it’s not worth a hill of beans if you can’t throw it for strikes. The St. Louis Cardinals reliever has more walks (6) than punchouts (5) this season and owns an ERA of 10.80.
Opposing batters have also been teeing off on Hicks. His batting average-against is sitting at .364 while his WHIP is hovering around 2.80. It’s still early, but those are not the type of numbers that Cards fans expected to see from a key member of their bullpen.
Jordan Hicks has also blown the only save opportunity he’s had on the season. In five games, Hicks has allowed six runs on eight hits including a round-tripper. If the St. Louis Cardinals hope to win in the now-competitive NL Central, Hicks has got to get back to the pitcher he was last season. Opponents were only hitting .210 off the 26-year-old a year ago.