After being fired by the Cardinals in October, former manager Mike Shildt is now headed for a job in the Commissioner’s Office, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Shildt is expected to take a role in the On-Field Operations department, working under senior VP Michael Hill.
The Padres interviewed Shildt about their managerial vacancy, though rather than a quick return to the dugout, Shildt will now leave the field entirely. It will mark the first time since 2003 that Shildt has taken a job in baseball outside of the Cardinals organization.
A lengthy career as a scout, minor league coach and manager, and then a season and a half on the St. Louis coaching staff, Shildt rose to the interim manager’s position after Mike Matheny was let go in July 2018. The Cardinals went 41-28 after Shildt took over as skipper, starting the team’s trend of late-season surges during Shildt’s tenure. Except for that 2018 season, those late runs resulted in postseason appearances — the Cards won the NL Central in 2019 and earned wild card berths in each of the last two seasons, though their only postseason triumph in that stretch was a five-game win over the Braves in the 2019 NLDS.
This season, St. Louis enjoyed a team-record 17-game winning streak in September, but lost the wild card game to the Dodgers in heartbreaking fashion, as Chris Taylor hit a ninth-inning walkoff homer. That winning streak only temporarily saved Shildt from being replaced, as various issues (or, as president of baseball operations John Mozeliak put it, “philosophical differences“) arose between Shildt and the front office and ultimately led Mozeliak to decide that a new manager was necessary. Bench coach Oliver Marmol was eventually hired as Shildt’s replacement.
Shildt is only 53 years old, so there is plenty of time for a return to the dugout if he chooses to pursue other managerial or coaching opportunities in the future. In the meantime, he will pitch in with Hill’s portfolio, which includes on-field disciplinary issues and umpiring at both the MLB and minor league levels.