The Cardinals announced Monday that they’ve hired former infielder Daniel Descalso as their new bench coach. Last year’s bench coach Joe McEwing will join the Cardinals’ front office as a special assistant to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. The Cardinals still expect to make further additions to the coaching staff this winter, the team noted.
Descalso, 37, spent five years in a Cardinals uniform from 2010-14 and appeared in parts of 10 MLB seasons between St. Louis, Colorado, Arizona and Chicago (Cubs). He spent the 2023 season as a special assistant in the Diamondbacks’ baseball operations department. This will be his first professional coaching assignment.
It’s the third time in the past two offseasons the Cardinals have effectively installed one of their former players as manager Oli Marmol’s bench coach. The Cards briefly hired Matt Holliday in that role last November, but Holliday had a change of heart just months after being appointed to the post, citing a desire to spend more time with his family as the primary reason for his resignation. Holliday spent eight years playing for the Cards, of course. McEwing, meanwhile, played for the Cardinals in both 1998 and 1999. As with Descalso, Holliday was slated to be a first-time coach with the Cardinals. McEwing had spent more than a decade on the White Sox’ coaching staff.
In 1079 Major League games, Descalso tallied just shy of 2900 plate appearances and posted a .235/.320/.362 batting line. He played every position on the diamond other than catcher and center field, with the bulk of his time coming at second base, third base and shortstop (in that order).