St. Louis Cardinals: Player reunions continue as minor league coaching swells

Jason Isringhausen of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after the final pitch against the San Diego Padres during Game 1 of the National League Divisional Playoffs held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri on October 4, 2005. The Cardinals won 8-5. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
Jason Isringhausen of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after the final pitch against the San Diego Padres during Game 1 of the National League Divisional Playoffs held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri on October 4, 2005. The Cardinals won 8-5. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals released their roster of minor league coaches and instructors on Thursday and in this list are two new, but not unfamiliar faces to the minor league coaching list.

The St. Louis Cardinals have renewed all of the contracts of their minor league coaches as was included in Thursday’s information release from the front office. Our friends at the Post-Dispatch (specifically Ben Frederickson) shared the complete information.

What leapt off the web page to me was Frederickson’s headline: “Isringhausen, Ludwick join Cardinals minor league staff.” In the wake of Jason Simontacchi‘s departure to join the Royals organization as minor league pitching coordinator- good for him- I had wondered what moves the front office would make to replace such a valuable key in player development.

So I was eager to see what roles these two names would play. Oh, and by the way, Frederickson also shares the news that former third base coach Chris Maloney has been hired by the Braves organization as the AA manager– good for him too.

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Back to the topic at hand. As I quickly scanned Frederickson’s piece, I kept wondering where the organization had placed Jason Isringhausen and Ryan Ludwick. I came to the Simontacchi vacancy and did not see their names. I kept scrolling and finally found that these two former St. Louis Cardinals will see themselves joining the instructor corp for minor leaguers and I immediately thought of how wise this move is.

Here’s why I believe this move to be very wise: both of these names are great players and both of these names are going to rise through the ranks of the coaching ladder, but both lack experience as a coach. The minor league instructor positions, however, are very important as these allow face-to-face interactions with rising superstars where full-on coaching positions have many other areas upon which to focus.

In short, Izzy and Luddy will be able to speak directly to and focus directly on young players, their progression, and ways to assist where the players need it most.

For nostalgia sake, let’s look at the numbers that these two great St. Louis Cardinals players posted during their time with the organization.

First up, Ludwick:

Standard Batting
12 Yrs10653986354945492320181545871720339888.260.330.451.78110916026445103016
162 Game Avg.1626065406914031123893352135.260.330.451.781109244107252
STL (4 yrs)488181216082534501026843051213153388.280.349.507.85712581618265157
NL (8 yrs)9613621321541684418571405431318311789.263.333.455.7881121463584393015
AL (4 yrs)10436533438791611444422899.237.299.416.7168813962101

…and now Izzy:

Standard Pitching
16 Yrs5155.4813.6472452499313001007.290145040885437438303425343221153.951.3288.
162 Game Avg.45.4813.64635440026887939367384733053791153.951.3288.
STL (7 yrs)1720.4592.98401033200217408.031215113530174173731401617081433.591.1916.
NL (12 yrs)3844.4633.765145234931225788.170936232965346286422814033831113.971.3388.
AL (5 yrs)1311.5423.2421001500075219.1192887920911518861139391363.891.2907.

Remember these? Do you remember them with joy? I do. But I also have to admit that I remember their declining year(s) too. I trust, on the other hand, that these greats will be able to teach minor league players how NOT to fixate on the negative but rather on how to improve based on their experiences; and that is a good thing in their roles.

Looking at the numbers above, I wish the St. Louis Cardinals had these players to pick from heading into 2018. What we can hope for in its stead is that these two new instructors can transfer the knowledge of how to post these numbers onto tomorrow’s superstars.

I- for one- am overjoyed at the player reunions taking place this offseason orchestrated by the St. Louis Cardinals front office. I love seeing the names of Willie McGee and Jose Oquendo coming to and coming back to the organization in coaching capacities and the addition of Izzy and Luddy as instructions continues that greatness.

Next: Reviewing the NL-Central rotations

What are your memories of these two from their playing time? I’d love to hear from you so hit me up on Twitter and thanks for reading!