Cardinals assistant hitting coach Jobel Jimenez won’t return to the club in 2022, reports Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat (Twitter links). Jimenez was offered a position as a roving instructor on the minor league side of the organization but turned down the reassignment.
The departure of Jimenez is the first notable change to newly tabbed manager Oliver Marmol’s 2022 staff. The Cardinals stunned onlookers by abruptly parting ways with former skipper Mike Shildt and quickly elevated Marmol to the manager’s chair just over a week after firing Shildt.
Jimenez, like Shildt is a longtime Cardinals fixture who first joined the organization back in 2007 (as profiled in this 2019 piece by Anne Rogers of MLB.com). Initially hired as the hitting instructor of the Cardinals’ affiliate in the Venezuelan Summer League, he steadily rose through the Cardinals’ system and served as a hitting coach at various minor league stops before being added to the big league staff, under Shildt, in 2019. Rogers notes that Jimenez has previously worked as a scout and and instructor in the Mariners and Dodgers organizations as well.
After being bounced by the Dodgers in the National League Wild Card game, the Cardinals were reportedly mulling an extension for Shildt and leaning toward retaining the entire coaching staff. Shildt’s firing and the attempted reassignment of Jimenez represent a rapid about-face from that direction. It’s not clear whether additional changes to the staff can be anticipated, though they’ll obviously need to hire a new bench coach now that Marmol has been elevated from that position to manager. The Cards have yet to formally announce Marmol’s coaching group for the upcoming season.