Cardinals Manager Marmol Aims for Improvement in 2024 After Disappointing 2023 Season

Cardinals Focus on Bolstering Pitching Roster for New Season

by Nouman Rasool
Cardinals Manager Marmol Aims for Improvement in 2024 After Disappointing 2023 Season
© Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals, guided by the league's youngest manager, Oli Marmol, experienced a notably challenging season last year. Finishing at the bottom of the NL Central for the first time since 1990, the 37-year-old Marmol has faced significant scrutiny.

In an insightful interview with The Athletic's Katie Woo, Marmol reflected on the Cardinals' 2023 campaign. Despite the team's struggles, he will continue as manager in 2024, as confirmed by John Mozeliak, the Cardinals' President of Baseball Operations.

Marmol, accepting responsibility for the previous season's outcomes, admitted that "last year wasn't good enough." Oli Marmol, a former Cardinals draft pick, never made it to the major leagues as a player. He took over the managerial reins in 2021 following Mike Shildt's departure.

In his inaugural season (2022), Marmol led the team to a commendable 93-69 record. However, the Cardinals' season ended unexpectedly in the NL Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Cardinals Strengthen Pitching

Under General Manager Mike Girsch, the Cardinals have been actively addressing their challenges during the 2023-2024 offseason.

Last season's starter ERA of 5.07, placing them 26th among 30 teams, highlighted a critical area for improvement. Following veteran Adam Wainwright's departure, the Cardinals have been on the hunt for quality starting pitchers.

Initial signings of Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson were met with skepticism, considering their underwhelming performances in 2023 and concerns about their peak years being behind them. However, the Cardinals made a significant move by signing Sonny Gray to a three-year, $75 million contract.

Gray, previously with the Minnesota Twins, achieved an impressive 2.79 ERA over 184 innings and was a runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting last year. Marmol acknowledges the increasing competitiveness in the NL Central. Teams like the Reds and Cubs have surpassed expectations, while the Brewers remain a constant threat and the Pirates show signs of improvement.

For Marmol and the Cardinals, the upcoming season is crucial in matching their ambitions with tangible results. In an increasingly competitive landscape, the Cardinals, under Marmol's leadership, are poised to rise above the challenges of the previous season.

Their strategic offseason moves, combined with Marmol's candid acknowledgment of past shortcomings, set the stage for a pivotal 2024 season. The Cardinals' quest for redemption and resurgence in the fiercely contested NL Central will undoubtedly be a key storyline to follow in the upcoming MLB season.