Cardinals hoping to bounce back from 2023 along with Goldschmidt, Arenado

In this Sept. 21, 2023, file photo, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt handles a ground ball hit by Rowdy Tellez of the Brewers during a game at Busch Stadium. (Associated Press)
In this Sept. 21, 2023, file photo, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt handles a ground ball hit by Rowdy Tellez of the Brewers during a game at Busch Stadium. (Associated Press)

JUPITER, Fla. -- Paul Goldschmidt found a positive in the St. Louis Cardinals’ worst season since 1990.

“We had a longer offseason, had the opportunity to kind of look ahead, start planning a little bit,” the seven-time All-Star first baseman said Monday as the Cardinals started full-squad workouts.

St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol repeated the message he delivered when pitchers and catchers reported last week: forget 2023 and focus on this year.

“These guys are super talented,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “They are All-Star-caliber-type players.”

St. Louis went 71-91, its worst record since 70-92 in 1990. Goldschmidt, who turned 36 in September, hit .268 with 25 homers and 80 RBI, down from the .317 average, 35 homers and 115 RBI that earned him the 2022 National League MVP award.

Still, his hard-hit percentage rose to a career-best 50.8 percent from 47.4 percent in 2022, according to Statcast.

“Not like I was absolutely terrible last year, I just think I have the potential to play better,” Goldschmidt said.

Third baseman Nolan Arenado batted .266 with 23 homers and 93 RBI, down from .293 with 30 homers and 103 RBI. The 32-year-old’s streak of consecutive Gold Gloves ended at 10.

“I don’t have a whole lot of concerns as to him getting back to ’22,” Marmol said. “I don’t think he’s looking at getting back to, as much as just continuing to move this thing forward and be the best version of himself. I don’t. It’s not a matter of just getting back to when you were good or back to your best year. I mean, listen, last year happened and he is motivated as ever to get back at it.”

Goldschmidt is getting a $22-million salary in 2024 in the final season of a six-year, $144.5-million contract.

“I think for me, I’ve never really kind of commented on my contract, so I think I’ll just keep that going,” Goldschmidt said.