In the season that has followed his retirement, Albert Pujols has watched the St. Louis Cardinals struggle mightily. However, he believes in what the team can do in 2024 with a few tweaks, particularly on the mound.
Albert Pujols speaks on what the St. Louis Cardinals can do to improve in 2024
Speaking on Audacy’s The Bret Boone Podcast, the future Hall of Famer ran through a number of topics during his appearance, including what he believed happened to cause the team’s demise in 2023 and how the Cardinals can recover in 2024.
While Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has tipped his hand that acquiring pitching will be a key part of the offseason plan for St. Louis, some have speculated that, with Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz as the likeliest candidates to be a part of the 2024 rotation, the Cardinals will need to go out and find an ace to lead the rotation. Pujols, however, disagrees.
“I’m not talking about you need to go get a number one or number two starter,” Pujols said on the podcast. “I’m talking about guys that can stay healthy and can give you 20 starts, 30 starts during the course of the year and win you 13 or 15 games, because the offense is gonna carry you.”
St. Louis enters play on Thursday 12th among MLB’s 30 teams in run scored this season (564), but has given up 594 runs, helping the Cardinals sink to the bottom of the National League Central.
Speaking of that division, Pujols believes the future of the Central and more balance among all five of the teams helped St. Louis rule out any kind of trade involving Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado.
“I think that division is going to be stronger and I think that’s why the Cardinals probably thought about it and kept these guys,” Pujols said. “They’re like, “We need to keep the core guys. We can not get rid of Paulie (Goldschmidt) and we can not get rid of Nolan. If I’m building a house, this is like my pillar that I’m gonna lean towards. Training my young athletes that I have and my young players and that’s what they do in that clubhouse.”