The 2023 season is almost over. For the St. Louis Cardinals, the end can't come soon enough. The team is already officially eliminated from postseason contention and has also secured their first losing season since 2007.
And so, when the postseason finally comes to an end, the Cardinals are going to have their work cut out for them. Still, there were a few bright spots this season for the Redbirds. Late in the season, a few viable pieces emerged from the minor leagues that helped give them a little bit of life down the stretch.
Some of these pieces helped the Cardinals play the role of spoiler against several teams in playoff contention. As a result, even with the team well out of contention, there has been something worth playing for.
The Cardinals won three series in a row in September against teams that are set to make a push for October. They took two out of three from the Braves, Reds, and Orioles before dropping their next two series.
Some of their newer faces have helped give the team a little bit of a push against these contending teams, and they have performed very well as of late, so well in fact that it is very possible they have already secured roster spots for the 2024 season.
In this piece, we will be taking a look at three Cardinals players who have performed well in September and have essentially already secured their spots on the roster for next season.
Cardinals who already won a 2024 roster spot: 3. Richie Palacios
Palacios has been a very interesting player to keep track of over the past few months. The Cardinals acquired him from the Guardians back in June in exchange for cash considerations.
As it turns out, this trade has turned out to be quite a steal for the Cardinals. Palacios can play second base and all three outfield positions. He can play elite defense and also has plenty of speed.
Last year, he hit just .232 for the Guardians without a home run and knocked in 10 runs. Though he has cooled off a little bit as of late, Palacios is still hitting for a respectable .262 average. The super utilityman has also revealed a secret weapon of his, having shown off some power at the plate. The 26-year-old has crushed five home runs and driven in 11 runs, while also posting a very impressive .849 OPS.
Sadly, the Cardinals have a lot of young outfielders in their mix and will likely have to trade a few of them to get pitching this offseason. But Palacios might be somebody worth holding onto if he continues to hit the way he has this season.
Palacios has been a very pleasant surprise for the Cards in what has been a mostly forgettable season, and his emergence could be a good sign for them as they assess their needs and go about constructing their 2024 roster.
Having him as a fourth outfielder could be a huge benefit for the Cardinals next season.