The Cardinals recently shocked the baseball world by firing manager Mike Shildt, shortly after an incredible season in which a 17-game winning streak catapulted them into the postseason for a third consecutive year. Just a few days prior to that, it seemed like the club would take the opposite path and extend him beyond 2022, the last year of his contract. Instead, with the offseason now just about a week away, their plans for a Shildt-less future are not publicly known.
Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took a look at the situation, reporting that Cardinals’ president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has internal candidates like Oliver Marmol and Stubby Clapp at the top of the list. Marmol has been with the organization as a coach for a decade now, as he became the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2011. He then went on to manage the rookie-ball Johnson City Cardinals and the Class A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals. He’s been with the big league club since the 2017 season, serving as first base coach and then bench coach. Clapp spent some time coaching in the Astros’ and Blue Jays’ organizations, before joining the Cardinals as the manager for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds for the 2017 season. He came up to the major league team as first base coach for the 2019 season. The fact that they are already in the Cardinals organization would mean Mozeliak is already familiar with their abilities, making them known quantities. However, the same was true of Shildt, who had been with the Cardinals in various capacities for over a decade before becoming manager after the firing of Mike Matheny in 2018. It’s unclear if Mozeliak wants to take that same path this time around.
Frederickson also throws out a couple of wildcards, reporting that Rick Renteria and Matt Holliday have make it known they are interested in the position. Renteria would bring some managerial experience, having been the bench boss for the 2014 Cubs then the White Sox from 2017 to 2020. Holliday, on the other hand, would bring no such experience at the big leagues, although he is currently listed as a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma State University, where his brother Josh is the head coach. Holliday was with the Cardinals as a player from 2009 to 2016. Hiring Holliday would come as a surprise, although it would mirror the hiring of Matheny in some ways. When Matheny was hired in 2011, he was also just a few years removed from his playing days and had no previous big league coaching experience.