Springfield Cardinals 2022 Team Review

photo: Hammons Field (St. Louis Cardinals)

The 2022 Springfield Cardinals posted an overall record of 68-70, the Double-A team’s fourth consecutive losing season, and fifth straight season missing the playoffs. However, it was a major improvement from 2021.

Springfield finished the first half in fifth place in the division at 31-38 but improved to 37-32 and a tie for second after the break. The overall winning percentage of .493 is a significant increase from last year’s .375. The Cardinals didn’t have much of a home field advantage, going 31-38, but played slightly better on the road with a winning record of 37-32.

Month by Month

The MiLB Double-A season schedule returned to a normalcy after 2021 started a month late and the entire 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This season, the Cardinals were in action from April 8 to September 18. Four players were placed on IL to start the season, and in their first month of play, Springfield went 8-12. The Cardinals struggled to pick up multiple wins in a row throughout their first two months of play, and went on multiple losing streaks, but to end the first half, the Cardinals won six straight going into the break. To end the first half, the Cardinals had a record of 31-38 and were in last place in the Texas League North Division, 10 games out of first place.

Springfield’s wins started to pick up during the second half of the season and they spent a majority of the half slipping between second and third place, even spending a short time in first. Springfield picked up their most wins in a month during July when they went 14-10 with a four-game winning streak from July 10 to July 16, while averaging .282 at the plate.

Springfield’s longest losing streak was six games from the end of July into early August. To end the season, the Cardinals went 8-7 in September, and finished the second half in a tie for second, six games back, with a 37-32 record and an overall record of 68-70.

At the Plate

The Cardinals had much of their success at the plate this year with numerous home runs and finishing in the top five in hits (1207) and RBI (766) and had a batting average of .258, but at times lacked consistency. Among the best hitters for Springfield this season were Moises Gomez, Jordan Walker, Matt Koperniak, Malcom Nunez, and Chandler Redmond.

Chandler Redmond

Gomez led Springfield in home runs (23) before he was promoted to Memphis, but among those on the roster at the end of the season, Redmond led with 21 home runs. His most memorable game came on August 11 when he became the first Cardinal ever to hit four home runs and notch 11 RBI in a game. Redmond also had a big game on September 13, when he swatted his fourth grand slam of the season. Redmond finished with 79 RBI.

Jordan Walker

Walker swatted the most hits this year, (141), and had the top batting average at .306, and Mike Antico had the most stolen bases (30). The Cardinals set a team record with 15 walks in their August 26 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

On the Mound

The Achilles heel for the Cardinals this year was their pitching, a common issue for Springfield in recent years.

The club’s 5.50 ERA was the third highest in the Texas League, as they allowed the fourth most hits (1262), second most home runs (186), and only shut out their opponents four times in 138 games. Springfield gave up the third most runs (813) and earned runs (741).

Gordon Graceffo

One of the best pitching performances came from Gordon Graceffo on September 15 when he finished six innings with just one hit, no runs, and no walks and matched a career high with nine strikeouts. The 22-year-old retired 17 in a row to start and 18 of the 19 batters he faced. Graceffo was the final Texas League Pitcher of the Week (his second weekly honor this season) and ended the year with a 2.97 ERA.

Team Roster

Springfield had an opening day roster of 28 players, with six players among in the top 30 prospects in the St. Louis system, including number one, then-third baseman, now outfielder Jordan Walker.

Walker finished the season with a .306 batting average, 68 RBI, and was one home run shy of the first 20/20 season in Cardinal’s history (19 home runs, 21 stolen bases). Walker also had the opportunity to represent the Cardinals in the MLB All-Star Futures Game in July.

Masyn Winn

Along with Walker, the Cardinals had another 20-year-old prospect in shortstop Masyn Winn, who also represented the Cardinals in the Futures Game. Winn was promoted from High-A Peoria on May 23 and was one the best at stealing bases for Springfield, successful in 28 of 33 Double-A attempts. Winn ended his campaign with 63 RBI, 12 home runs, and a OPS of .832 with Springfield and Peoria.

Before being promoted to Memphis on June 28, outfielder Moises Gomez blasted home run after home run, and at the time led the Texas League with 23 home runs. Gomez won back-to-back Player of the Week awards for April 11-17 and April 18-24 and collected two Player of the Month awards. In May, the St. Louis Cardinals named him the Minor League Player of the Month and he was the Texas League Player of the Month for April.

Moisés Gómez

14 pitchers opened the season for the Cardinals and the best starters on the mound were Gordon Graceffo, Kyle Leahy, and Michael McGreevy, who were each in the top three in strikeouts for Springfield. The Cardinals welcomed major league pitchers Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz for rehab assignments.

There were many transactions throughout the season, 92 in total, and once players got settled into their roles, the team would have a bit of momentum, but at times were inconsistent.

In Conclusion

The season may not have ended the way the Cardinals would have hoped, with their struggles on the mound and inconsistency at the plate. But they showed major improvement from last year, and their young prospects hold a lot of potential for the future.

What is next?

Much more detail on the Springfield Cardinals’ top hitters, relievers and starting pitchers is coming as we select the best of the best in upcoming articles in this series.

Check out The Cardinal Nation’s annual article series highlighting team results and top hitters and pitchers across the entire St. Louis Cardinals system. The Dominican Summer League Relief Pitcher of the Year is next up.

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