Cardinals Close Successful 2019 Season

Josh Calloni, Reporter

The Cardinals finished their season just four wins shy of the World Series, but not all was lost in 2019.

The team endured one of its best recent seasons statistically in 2019. It was the first time the Cardinals had seen the playoffs since 2015, afterall. Many breakouts such as Giovanny Gallegos and Tommy Edman came to relevance for the Cardinals, each of which earning further playing time in future years.  

The team also saw its first year of Paul Goldschmidt. The stats were a little on the lower side of his career track record, but Goldschmidt still put up 34 home runs with a .260 batting average, and an OPS of .922. 

The Cardinals also saw the emergence of Jack Flaherty in 2019. Flaherty took his game to another level in the second half, pitching to an ERA below one, and getting his season total for that stat well below 3.00, at 2.75. 

Longtime Cardinal Adam Wainwright also seemingly reinvented himself, pitching to his lowest ERA since 2014 when he was an all star and Cy Young finalist. 

“The Cardinals had a good season. They made it farther than I thought as a fan, and they had quite a few good storylines and big moments. My favorite was Lane Thomas’ go ahead grand slam. That was awesome,” junior Andrew Hellman said. 

However, not all things were great in 2019 for the Cardinals. Besides getting swept in the NLCS by the Nationals, the team lost its closer, Jordan Hicks until 2021. The flame throwing righty tore his UCL in the 9th inning of a game versus the Angels in June. He underwent Tommy John surgery a few weeks later, which could sideline him until 2021, though reports show an optimistic return could be by late August or early September 2020. 

Former prospect, pitcher Alex Reyes, lost stock in the organization. Reyes was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in 2016 when he came up, he pitched to a 1.57 ERA and a FIP of 2.67 in 12 games that season. However, in early 2017 it was announced that Reyes would have Tommy John, and missed all of 2017, and eventually all of 2018 after a tricep issue. Reyes made the opening day roster in 2019, struggled, and was sent to the minors. After another injury and control problems, and never made it back to the big leagues. 

“The Cardinals really played well this season, I think they are going to finally return to their dynasty from here on out,” senior Jacob Justice said. 

Looking ahead towards this offseason, the Cardinals are set to lose backup catcher Matt Wieters, outfielder Marcell Ozuna, and pitchers Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha to free agency, as they start to build their team backup for another potential run in 2020.