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A new-look staff for Oliver Marmol and the Cardinals

Oliver Marmol photo via chat cast

Well I think many of us knew it was inevitable Skip Schumacher would get a big league managers job. On October 25th the Miami Marlins did just that and named Schumacher as the man who would replace Don Mattingly. Fans did expect this to happen but not THIS YEAR! but that was not all. In his end-of-the-year press conference on October 26th, St Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak had more coaching news. Bullpen Coach Brian Eversgard will be reassigned as a special assistant.

Pitching Coach Mike Maddux will step away from the field duties as pitching coach. Mozeliak did not say that Maddux was retiring. He said he wanted to step away from the everyday grind.

Hitting Coach Jeff Albert resigned due to what Mozeliak cited as "frustration" with the way hitting went and the blame he was receiving. So how do you replace the big three positions outside of manager?

Skip Schumacher vis Getty Images Jeff Albert via Getty Images Mike Maddux via AP

The Cardinals answered that question on Sunday 11/6/22

Bench Coach

Matt Holiday

Matt Holiday by Steve Mitchell via USA Today

Holiday spent 8 years with the Cardinals. He has expressed a desire to coach in the big leagues and with St Louis even last year when they fired then Manager Mike Schildt. To me it was eventually going to happen that he would be some type of coach for St Louis.

While in St Louis he hit .293/.380/.494, 156 Home Runs, and 616 RBIs.

His career numbers are .299/.379/.510 316 Home Runs and 12220 RBIs. He is a 7-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger, he was a batting champion and NLCS MVP in 2007

He has been the Hitting instructor at Oklahoma State University since 2018

He has ties to the Cardinal community with the Homers for health that he started many years ago. He is a fan favorite, even after he left in 2016.

He was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 1998 He joined the Cardinals in Mid-season 2009. Holiday, was a part of the Cardinal's 2011 World Series team. While some may have wanted Holiday to be the Hitting Coach, just because he is the Bench Coach does not mean he can't help the hitters.

I think this is a solid fit for both Holiday and St Louis.

Hitting Coach

Truner Ward

Turner Ward via MLB.

Turner Ward Will start his second full season for t St Louis Cardinals as the Hitting Coach. He joined the team in November of 2021 as Assistant Hitting Coach. Before that, he had stints in Cincinnati (2019), Los Angeles Dodgers (2016-18), and the Arizona Diamondbacks (2014-15) and he was the Assistant Hitting Coach for Arizona in 2013.

Ward, also, played 12 seasons in the majors from 1990-2001

Drafted by the Yankees (18th round) in 1986 as a switch-hitting outfielder out of the University of South Alabama, played for the Indians (1990-91), Blue Jays (1991-1993), Brewers (1994-96), Pirates (1997-99), Diamondbacks (1999-2000) and Phillies (2001). When he turned to coaching, He was the Hitting Coach at Class AA Mobile an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. (2008-10), Manager at Mobile (2011- 12), Assistant Hitting coach for Arizona (2013), and Hitting Coach for Arizona (2014-15). Then he moved on to the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2016-18 as Hitting Coach, Ward then joined the Cincinnati Reds as the Hitting Coach in 2019.

As the manager for Mobile, Ward was named Southern League Manager of the Year in 2011.

Ward in 2012 was a coach for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game at Kansas City

Ward played for the Toronto Blue Jays' World Series championship teams in 1992 and 1993.

He hit a pinch-hit, two-run HR in Game 3 of the 1999 NL Division Series for Arizona against the

New York Mets. Probably his most famous play however is when he was in RF for the Pittsburgh Pirates on 5/3/98 at Three Rivers Stadium Mike Piazza's then with the Dodgers hit a fly ball that carried to the wall. When Truner made the catch against the wall that portion broke away causing him to fall through the wall.

Ward was added as the assistant Hitting Coach to be the "buffer" between the analytics of Jeff Albert and the on-the-field application. He handled the in-game adjustments for players. You would see players after an At Bat talking with Ward. Expect that type of relationship with the players to continue.

Pitching Coach

Dusty Blake via MLB

Dusty Blake is a name many people do not know. He has been the Major league pitching strategist for the St Louis Cardinals since 2021. His role has been to really coordinate between the coaching staff, Pitchers, and Video team. Prior to joining the Cardinals, he was the Pitching Coach at Duke University (2018-2020). in 202 0 The Duke pitching staff set the record for scoreless innings at 37 and the program's first-ever perfect game, they led the ACC in ERA, the fewest walks, and the best Strikeout to walk ratio and they led the nation in shutouts. Prior to getting the job at Duke, he was the Head Coach and Associate Athletic Director at Pfeiffer University (NC) (Division II) from 2013-17, Blake has also had coaching stints at USC Upstate (2012), Wofford College (2008-11), Catawba College (2006-07)

President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak hinted at a week or two ago talking about basically seeing and miss pitching. The pitching philosophy has been to induce the ground ball and let the defense handle the rest. But I think especially in the Bullpen roles swing and miss pitchers are a MUST. When you look at what Blake did at Duke in terms of the Strikeout to walk ratio I think this was what Mo was looking at by promoting him instead of bringing in a more well-known candidate.

Two other Coaches were hired

Assistant Hitting Coach

Brandon Allen.

Brandon Allen via MLB

Allen has been a Hitting Coach all through the Cardinals Minor League system. Johnson City(rookie League) 2017, Palm Beach (A ball) 2018, Springfield (AA) 2019, and finally the Memphis Redbirds Hitting Coach in 2020. Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 5th round of the 2004 draft, he spent five and a half years in the Whitesox minor league system and was then traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, he was traded in mid-season 2011 to the Oakland A's. In 2012 he was traded to the Tampa Bay rays. Allen had a brief stint in Japan for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks (2012).from 2013 to 2016 he played in the minor leagues with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, and the Cincinnati Reds.

Assistant Pitching Coach/Bullpen Coach

Julio Rangel

Julio Rangle via Fox sports

Rangle has served as the Pitching Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox since 2020. He played Seven years in the New York Yankees minor league system from 1994-2000. He was a minor league pitching instructor for 11 years with the then-Cleveland Indians. in 2018 he was the minor league Pitching Coordinator for the San Francisco Giants. Then he was the Pitching Coach for the Texas Rangers from 2019-2020.

So we shall see how these new parts of the on-the-filed brain trust will gel. Some may be underwhelmed Wanting perhaps to see Chris Carpenter as Pitching Coach or maybe Jim Edmonds aha Hitting Coach. I was kind of hoping that either Ryan Ludwick or Jason Isringhausen would get a shot and they still might with new managers headed to a lot of teams. All-in-all I think these are good moves and hopefully will pay the desired dividends.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my podcast Talking Sports on the Bleachers it can be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts. Check out the website or follow me on twitter @tsotbgcs. See you later!

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