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Carlos Marmol

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol eager to turn page

Oliver Marmol doesn't want repeat of 2023 disappointment

Oliver Marmol and the Cardinals have one goal in mind, and that is to return winning baseball back to St. Louis. After finishing a disappointing last in the NL Central in 2023, Marmol is preparing for the future. 

There is no doubt the 2023 season fell drastically below expectations for Marmol’s Cardinals, who could not get past their pitching woes. 

Pitching was the main culprit for the Cardinals’ struggles in 2023. The pitching staff transitioned from a league average staff to the bottom tier in their first season without Yadier Molina. After placing in the Top 10 in ERA and 15th in WHIP in 2022, the Cardinals were 27th in WHIP and 24th in ERA.

Marmol, 37, is adamant he is not thinking of last year’s performance. As the young Dominican American manager prepares for his third season as a big league manager, he is ready to turn the page and focus on the upcoming season. 

“No, I’ve gone through that exercise already.” Marmol said. “Now it’s focusing on what we can do to make sure that we don’t repeat that and putting things in place to make sure that we get off to a good start starting in spring training.”

Sonny Gray addition should help

The Cardinals have given Marmol some key veterans to reinforce their starting rotation. St. Louis signed veteran free agent pitchers Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson. 

All three of those pitchers played a significant role guiding their teams to the postseason. Gray is the prize of the veteran crop. He was an American League All-Star in 2023 with the Twins before finishing as the runner-up for the American League Cy Young Award.

Marmol is adamant that he’s excited about the additions that Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has made to the pitching staff.

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Mozeliak “and his group, I think, have done a really good job,” he said. “If you look at the void we had last year and what we’ve added this year, not only from a skill set standpoint but also when you look at the personalities that are coming into that clubhouse, it’s equally as important.

“And you’ve added some established guys that have experienced the ups and downs of this game. That’s important for our young guys to see.”

Marmol is also optimistic that the veteran additions will strengthen the culture that has been established in St. Louis. 

Oliver Marmol has solid lineup

The culture that Marmol brings into the clubhouse is relayed by his veteran cornerstones Paul Goldschimdt, Nolan Arenado. Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, Lars Nootbar also are established keys to the core of the St. Louis roster.

“Like, I wish I could sit here and walk you through the Goldys and Donovans and Eddies and Nootbaars,” Marmol said. “I can go down the list of what those — it was incredible as to what this looks like moving forward.This off-season has been a lot of fun to jump on Zooms with these guys and starting to talk through some of the expectations and accountability.

“So … it’s not this revamp of culture. You’re adding some great personalities that know what winning looks like, knows what accountability looks like. And they’re great fits. But in no way are we talking about a revamp.”

While the Cardinals work to bounce back, Marmol’s team will rely on their strong culture and new pitching additions to once again compete in the NL Central. 

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