The Cardinals have announced some notable coaching-staff changes, with two familiar names slated to don the team’s uniform once more. Jose Oquendo will return to his former job as the third base coach, while McGee will take an as-yet unidentified role on manager Mike Matheny’s staff.
There are clearly some other moving pieces here, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covers them all (see here and here). The Cards bumped Mike Shildt from third-base to bench coach. (Last season’s bench coach, David Bell, left for a player development job with the Giants.) The club is still looking for new coaches to handle the organization’s pitching staff.
Oquendo had been a key figure on the MLB staff, but left his post after requiring knee surgery. He had remained with the organization, though, and evidently now feels up to the task once again. Now 54, Oquendo played with the Cardinals for a decade. Primarily a middle infielder, he appeared at literally every position on the field during his career (including catching one frame and pitching six). President of baseball operations John Mozeliak obviously saw it as a priority to get Oquendo back into the team’s staff; as Goold explains, the club’s top baseball decisionmaker went with Matheny recently to engineer Oquendo’s return.
While McGee’s specific duties aren’t yet clear, the indication is that the Cards won’t build silos with the staff. No matter his formal title, the legendarily fleet-footed former big leaguer will “work with outfielders on their defense and all players with their baserunning,” Goold writes. McGee, who spent the bulk of his 18 MLB campaigns in St. Louis, has previously functioned as a special assistant with the organization. Those interested in reading more about McGee’s hiring should read this discussion and interview from the Dispatch’s Rick Hummel.