On Deck: Four candidates to manage the St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals surprised the baseball world Thursday by announcing that manager Mike Shildt will not return for what would have been the final year of his contract in 2022. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak cited philosophical differences as the reason behind the firing in a Zoom news conference with owner and Managing Partner Bill DeWitt, Jr.

Shildt joined the organization in 2004 as a scout and coach, before being promoted to the major league coaching staff in 2017. He became the team’s manager, taking over for Mike Matheny in July 2018. He guided the Cardinals to a 90-72 record in 2021, with a franchise-record 17 game winning streak powering the club to the second National League Wild Card berth. In parts of four seasons, his record was 252-199.

Mozeliak said the team would likely take the next few days to catch its breath, but acknowledged there were likely internal candidates for the job. While he and DeWitt Jr. pointed to the club’s legacy of continuity, Mozeliak would not commit one way or another when asked if the next manager would come from inside the organization or outside.

“The person coming in is inheriting a very good club,” Mozeliak said, adding that the team will be “chasing someone with success,” or “someone familiar with what we have.”

Who could that be? Here are four names to consider:

STUBBY CLAPP: Clapp, 48, has been on the major league coaching staff since 2019 as the team’s first base coach. He was a successful AAA manager with Memphis where he managed the likes of Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, Tommy Edman, Jack Flaherty, Paul DeJong, Genesis Cabrera, Dakota Hudson and others. He’s been considered for other major league managerial posts in the past. Clapp was drafted by St. Louis and played briefly for the Cardinals in 2001.

OLIVER MARMOL: Marmol, 35, has been on the big league staff since 2017 and has been the bench coach since 2019. He’s also a former Cardinals minor league manager in Palm Beach and Johnson City, where he coached Alex Reyes, Junior Fernandez and Edmundo Sosa. He was a former Cardinals draft pick who played four seasons in the minors for the organization.

SKIP SCHUMAKER: Schumaker, 41, was on the San Diego Padres coaching staff the past two seasons under Jayce Tingler, who was fired after the regular season and has been with the Padres’ organization since 2016. A 2001 Cardinals draft pick, he reached the majors with St. Louis as a player in 2005 and was a fan favorite even after he left the team after the 2012 season. He was honored here in late September as the Cardinals recognized members of the 2011 World Series team.

MARK MCGWIRE: McGwire, 58, has been out of baseball the past few years in order to spend more time watching his sons, high school and college baseball players. The home run legend was welcomed into the coaching world by the Cardinals, who made him Tony LaRussa’s hitting coach, a job he kept under Mike Matheny until 2013, when he left to join the Dodgers in the same capacity. He later moved on to San Diego where he was bench coach until after the 2018 season. With the hiring of Jeff Albert to overhaul the team’s approach to coaching hitting, it’s unclear how McGwire might mesh in that environment. His youngest son Mason, is a high school senior pitcher/outfielder, who is committed to play at Oklahoma with his brother Max.

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