Mike Shildt is absent as manager of the Cardinals, fired during a meeting Thursday morning with John Mozeliak, president of the club’s baseball operations.
This was a surprise for Shildt, as characterized by Mozeliak, who cited “philosophical differences” between the director and the front office, although he repeatedly refused to elaborate on the nature of these differences during a discussion. Zoom press conference Thursday afternoon.
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So who will be the next Cardinals manager?
Mozeliak confirmed that there were already at least a few names in mind. “There are internal candidates that we trust,” he said in response to a question from Sporting News. “Could it go fast?” Yes, but we want to take a few days to step back, catch our breath, and then take a close look at what that looks like.
When trying to assess potential replacements, it’s important to screen candidates knowing that the front office had philosophical differences with someone who had been in the organization since 2004, when Mozeliak hired Shildt as a scout, so can – Being an experienced “strong” type manager with a “my way or the highway” personality might not be the best fit for what they are looking for.
With that in mind, here is a list of potential candidates.
1. Stubby Clapp, Cardinals first baseman
How’s it for a tie with the Cardinals organization: His No.10 jersey is retired by the Memphis Triple-A Redbirds. Yes. After his playing career – which culminated with 23 games for the Cardinals in 2001 – he was successful in the minors for the Astros and Blue Jays before joining the Cardinals organization. He has been on the Big League coaching staff since 2019.
2. Oliver Marmol, Cardinals bench coach
He’s been with the Cardinals since being drafted in 2007, as a player and coach. Marmol, only 35, has been with the Major League club since 2017, spending the last few years as a bench coach.
3. Skip Schumaker, Padres coach
Again, the story of the cardinals here. He rose through the organizational ranks and played eight years with the major league team, and his RBI brace in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against Roy Halladay which gave the Cardinals their only run in a 1- win. 0, was the stuff of legend. He has been coaching the Padres since 2018 and has been the “associate manager” for the past two years.
4. Jose Oquendo, Cardinals minor league infield coordinator
He is essentially the royalty of the Cardinals, having been with the organization since 1985, in a variety of roles. Once upon a time, Oquendo was seen as the next great manager, whether for the Cardinals or any other team, but he wasn’t hired for any of the jobs he interviewed for, including the Cardinals when went with Mike Matheny. Oquendo is still only 58 years old and no one knows the organization’s philosophy better than he.