Ever since the 2023 season went off the rails for the St. Louis Cardinals, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak has been stressing the importance of adding pitching from outside the organization.
Mozeliak also stressed that the Cardinals need more swing-and-miss stuff on their pitching staff.
On Thursday night, they got a glimpse of what more of that could do for their staff when starter Matthew Liberatore gave them eight scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.
He struck out seven batters and allowed just two hits without a walk.
The left-hander was inducing a lot of swings-and-misses in Thursday’s tilt with the Rays, and even reached a career-high.
On Twitter, MLB Network posted a graphic to show how electric Liberatore was in his start against the Rays.
Matthew Liberatore was forcing whiffs all night 💪 pic.twitter.com/uxwczWNRly
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 11, 2023
Liberatore induced 15 whiffs in his start against the Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The most whiffs he had induced in a game prior to Thursday was 12, which came on May 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
In other starts, he has induced up to nine.
The young left-hander possesses an electric fastball that generates a ton of swings-and-misses, which is one reason why the Cardinals are so high on him and are giving him a chance to prove himself in the rotation.
There will be three rotation spots to fill in the offseason after Adam Wainwright retires.
If Liberatore continues at this pace, then the Cardinals could look to give him a shot at cracking the rotation in spring training next year.
Thursday was a good first step for the young left-hander as the Cardinals assess their in-house talent for 2024.NEXT: The Cardinals Have Been Pushing Back Against A Tired Trade Narrative