Oli Marmol talks up young Cardinals players who are going to have to save his job

St. Louis Cardinals manager Oli Marmol is on the hot seat entering this season. In spring training, he spent time talking up his young stars.

St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

St. Louis Cardinals manager Oli Marmol cannot afford another subpar season, or he'll be the fall guy for a franchise used to making the MLB Playoffs. St. Louis finished far from that goal this past season, and spent the offseason signing reinforcements, particularly in their starting rotation.

The likes of Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson ought to help the rotation, while the bullpen has improved thanks to the additions of Keynan Middleton, Andrew Kittredge and more. Essentially, the Cardinals have limited Marmol's list of excuses. While far from perfect, the 2024 Cardinals should be much-improved from the 2023 version, and that includes a list of intriguing young prospects turned contributors finally coming into their own at the right time.

Oli Marmol relying on young talent to save his job with St. Louis Cardinals

Masyn Winn, Nolan Gorman and Jordan Walker are former top prospects in the Cardinals system and listed as starters entering spring training. Gorman in particular received a lot of praise from Marmol this week.

"These guys have a lot of skill," Marmol said. "And when you talk about Gorman, and the season we're expecting from him, and the way he's prepared this offseason to just get his body right to be in the lineup more often and just stay healthy. He's done some meaningful things to make sure that happens. We're expecting a big year out of him. This is a power bat that's scary when he's right and then you add (Lars Nootbaar) to that mix."

St. Louis has a tough April schedule, but the Cardinals have high expectations to start 2024. The NL Central is well within their grasp, as the Milwaukee Brewers took a step back this offseason and the Cubs have yet to re-sign Cody Bellinger.

As Will Leitch of MLB Network notes, the Cardinals could run out of patience fast with their young skipper.

"(The Cardinals) plan on winning this division this year, which happens to be the last year of Marmol’s contract. Few managers had a tougher year in 2023 than Marmol did. Few need a strong start to 2024 more," Leitch said.

So it's no wonder that Marmol is spending the early stages of spring training building up the confidence of the young players he will count on this season should he hope to remain in St. Louis long term.

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