I'm not sure what "woke" means in this regard. It seems more like you're going along the lines of "worst case" views. And that's fine to do. It's OK. Every team should. They should discuss worst-case. They should discuss best-case. And they should lean toward pragmatic case. A pragmatic look at the rotation would not have been all that rosy. But it wouldn't have worst case either.
Regression was expected for Mikolas.
Flaherty had to be more efficient to be a No. 1, but had the talent to do so.
Hudson is unproven. He's the definition of unproven.
Reyes had missed two seasons. He was a question mark.
Wacha had an oblique injury. Hardly the shoulder issue of before.
Martinez no longer trusted his arm, and that's a big concern.
Wainwright had the chance to be more than a good story, he could be a good savvy pitcher.
In going through your "woke" definition, I don't really see anything that the Cardinals didn't consider a possibility coming into the season. Actually, another look, and a few of yours are maybe even more optimistic than worst-case.