The St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday announced the surprise dismissal of manager Mike Shildt due to a recently emerged “philosophical difference” over how the club should approach the 2022 season.
Shildt’s sacking comes just after a 92-game winning season and a playoff berth for the Cardinals. Over the course of four seasons, the Cardinals finished 252-199 under Shildt. With players like Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Jack Flaherty, Tyler O’Neill, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright in the fold for 2022, expectations for the new manager will be high.
Speaking of which, already president of the baseball operations team, John Mozeliak has hinted that internal candidates will be considered. Here is a brief overview of some of these possibilities.
1. Olivier Marmol, 35, served last season as a bench coach for the Cardinals under Shildt. He is a former Cardinals rookie and minor leaguer who has also been a juvenile batting coach. Marmol also has management experience at the minor league level, having guided Johnson City and Palm Beach through the Cardinals system. Athletic’s Katie Woo speculates that Marmol could indeed be a top candidate.
2. Stubby Clapp, 48, briefly played in the majors with St. Louis, and he’s been the Cardinals’ first coach since the start of the 2019 season. Clapp’s long streak as a manager of Triple-A Memphis makes him a viable candidate to lead a team at the highest level.
3. José Oquendo, 58, spent 10 seasons as a Cardinals player and has since held various coaching positions within the organization. Most recently, Oquendo was the minor league field coordinator. Having been part of the organization since 1985, Oquendo would bring solid experience and connections that span decades. The feeling that the Cardinals might be inclined to go somewhat to a “new school” in this hire may work against Oquendo.
Others? Here is an extensive list:
Skip Schumaker, who has served as the Padres’ associate manager for the past two seasons, has ties to Cardinal and appears to be receiving an early buzz, at least as external candidates do. Matt Holliday was also brought up at the start. He comes from a family of coaches and was a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma State under the guidance of his brother, head coach Josh Holliday. Holliday spent eight seasons with the Cardinals.
Mozeliak announced on Thursday his intention to hire a new manager “in the next month, so that we can get a response fairly quickly.