St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals bring back “The Secret Weapon”

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 14: Mark Reynolds
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 14: Mark Reynolds /

The St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff  had a few holes filled today in a busy news day for the front office.

The last couple of seasons the St. Louis Cardinals have had something missing. Yes, wins and playoff appearances, but there is something else, Jose Oquendo. The former third base coach who was an obvious fan favorite has spent his time in Florida, mentoring young players and keeping his distance from the big league club.

After Oquendo underwent knee surgery in 2016, which caused him to vacate his spot as third base coach of the Cardinals, he has been missed. But, he won’t be missed for much longer. The Cardinals announced today Jose Oquendo will return to the big league club and man his old position as third base coach. This of course is very beneficial to the younger players who will get to work with him, and his expertise will really be helpful to the Major League club.

With the recent departure of David Bell to San Francisco, there was a pretty large hole in the staff. Bell was essentially Matheny’s right hand man. Now, Mike Schildt will take on that role, sliding over from third base, where Oquendo will resume his duties.

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It has been noted Oquendo liked that he got to spend his time in Florida. Who could blame him? His home is in Florida and he gets to work on what he is best at, developing talent.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the major league club was missing out on his expertise.

Whether or not you believe Oquendo being gone was the reason, the defense has been a problem. Expect to see some improvement in that aspect with his return.

The Cardinals “secret weapon” was a mainstay for years under Tony La Russa, and during those times, he worked some magic, making players better defensively. With youth already in the majors and more coming, adding Oquendo back to the staff seems like a no-brainer.

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This news will surely be exciting to Cardinal fans as Oquendo was a fan favorite and has been missed the past two seasons. Whether it was Mozeliak urging Oquendo to come back or Oquendo deciding he wanted to come back to St. Louis, we may never know. The important thing is, Oquendo is back. The Cardinals hit a home run with this move, here’s hoping the rest of the off-season is the same.