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St. Louis Cardinals 2022: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

Longtime batterymates Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina return for one more season as the Cardinals hope to orchestrate another World Series run

Energized by a franchise-record 17-game winning streak, the emergence of Tyler O'Neill as a power source and a pitcher-catcher battery defying the gravity of age, the Cardinals sensed a swell of momentum carrying them into 2022.

One sudden, jarring decision left them searching for how to get it back.

The Cardinals' front office abruptly fired manager Mike Shildt when meetings revealed a personality clash that had become irreparable. Shildt revived the Cardinals' fundamental style and steered them to three consecutive playoff berths, and then, on the eve of an extension — gone. New manager Oliver Marmol inherits a team designed to contend while it blends one of its best eras with its next era. As Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, two October greats entering their 40s, reach the autumn of their careers, a new dynamic duo, Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, reaches its zenith and could light the way back to the World Series.

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals logo

"They don't look like a dominant team, but when you're solid everywhere and catch the ball the way they do, you're going to be in the mix. Paul Goldschmidt always seems to take a little while to get going but eventually gets it going. With Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Tyler O'Neill, they have three bona fide thumpers who can feast off some of the mediocre pitching in this division. Harrison Bader has a little Jim Edmonds in him; he may not always need to dive, but he likes to bring some flash. Dylan Carlson had a very strong season at 22; he's only going to get better as he matures. I like the rotation a lot, if they're healthy. Jack Flaherty should contend for the Cy Young every year, and at times last season, Adam Wainwright looked better than ever. Alex Reyes was a little shaky with the walks, but he's got great stuff, and Ryan Helsley pitched better than his numbers. Giovanny Gallegos and T.J. McFarland were excellent, and while Jordan Hicks has hardly pitched for two and a half years, if he's anything like he used to be, that makes a good bullpen that much deeper."

Beyond the Box Score

Winning pair Yadier Molina had already jumped into Adam Wainwright's arms as a champion when he caught the righthander's first pitch in the majors as a starter in April 2007. Bonded by the 2006 World Series and forged by intertwined careers, the longest-tenured active teammates — "brothers," they say — are nearing all-time history. Both signed one-year extensions with the Cardinals, their only big-league club. With 304 regular-season starts together, they need 21 to surpass the 324 by Detroit's Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan from 1963-75, the most by any battery since 1908.

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Good hands team In 2021, the Cardinals became the first team with five Rawlings Gold Glove winners: Paul Goldschmidt (1B), Tommy Edman (2B), Nolan Arenado (3B), Tyler O'Neill (LF) and Harrison Bader (CF). All five and finalist Molina return for 2022, shaping the Cardinals' winter shopping list: They sought greedy groundball-getters like Steven Matz and T.J. McFarland to see if a golden defense can give their performances a greater shine.

Sweet 17 The Cardinals' 17-game winning streak rescued their postseason chances, was the longest in September by an NL team since 1935 and shattered the franchise record (14). They carry an 11-game winning streak on the road into 2022 — the first club to win that many to close a schedule since 1887. The Cardinals outscored opponents 115–53 during the winning streak.

Skip's back As a player, Skip Schumaker did whatever the Cardinals asked, and now he'll do the same for the dugout. Schumaker, beloved member of the 2011 champs, returns as new manager Oliver Marmol's bench coach. Schumaker, 42, is viewed in the game as a rising future manager. This role brings him back where his pro career started and, like the past three Cardinals bench coaches before him, slingshots him toward a manager job.

Scaling the walls Vexed hitters and vanishing offense prompted the Cardinals to explore whether it was time for new dimensions by inching the Busch Stadium walls closer in. That possibility was "under study" with no resolution by January. Since the stadium's opening in 2006, the Cardinals have welcomed Busch's pitcher-friendly traits. But in recent years, as buildings sprouted nearby, winds shifted, slugging shriveled and runs per game dropped by eight percent. The advantage enjoyed by pitchers was undermined by the increasing detriment to hitters.

Projected Lineup


2B    Tommy Edman (S)
1B    Paul Goldschmidt (R)
LF    Tyler O'Neill (R)
3B    Nolan Arenado (R)
RF    Dylan Carlson (S)
SS    Paul DeJong (R)
DH   Corey Dickerson (L)
C     Yadier Molina (R)
CF    Harrison Bader (R)


C     Andrew Knizner (R)
INF  Edmundo Sosa (R)
1B    Albert Pujols (R)
OF   Lars Nootbar (L)


RHP    Adam Wainwright
RHP    Jack Flaherty
LHP    Steven Matz
RHP    Miles Mikolas
RHP    Dakota Hudson


RHP    Giovanny Gallegos (C)
RHP    Alex Reyes
RHP    Jordan Hicks
RHP    Ryan Helsley
LHP    T.J. McFarland
RHP    Drew VerHagen
RHP    Nick Wittgren
LHP    Génesis Cabrera

2022 Prediction: 1st in NL Central