The St. Louis Cardinals have an opening for a hitting coach and a former hitting coach is without a job currently; a perfect storm is in the works.
The St. Louis Cardinals are sitting on pins and needles waiting for a few coaching dominoes to fall so that their current vacancies can be filled. At the time of writing this piece, Stubby Clapp is managing in the Arizona Fall League holding in his back pocket a promise from the Cardinals to join their MLB coaching ranks. That is if he doesn’t go elsewhere.
Recent news removed Clapp from contention for the Blue Jays’ managerial gig which seemed to be the most likely landing spot. Now, Clapp is said to receive an in-person interview for the Rangers job. If he gets none of them, then the plan is for him to join the coaching ranks in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Cardinals have vacant positions for hitting coach and first base coach. Either of these could be a fit for Stubby. But… But, Mark McGwire‘s contract with San Diego was not renewed at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Could this put a wrinkle in the Clapp plans?
While it likely will not stand in the way of Clapp joining the coaching ranks, it might not be an immediate grab for the Cardinals.
This is what I think…
Should the St. Louis Cardinals lose Stubby to the Texas Rangers, it seems to me that a reunion with McGwire could work. Big Mac was a big name with the Cardinals and bringing him home could work nicely for both parties.
During his time as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, good things happened. At the same time many fans may remember frustrations with McGwire as hitting coach. My argument to this component is that McGwire was hamstrung under the incompetence of Mike Matheny.
But I digress…
Should the St. Louis Cardinals maintain Stubby within their ranks, AND should they desire a reunion with McGwire, then Clapp could become the first base coach with McGwire rolling into the hitting coach job. When McGwire departed in 2012, he admitted that he hated to go and that he loved his time with the Cardinals.
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The deep question is whether the Cardinals desire Clapp or McGwire (or someone else) as the hitting coach. Let’s do a little comparison…
Clapp served as hitting coach in the Blue Jays organization for four season but never held the role at the major league level. McGwire, on the other hand, held the hitting coach role with the Cardinals from 2010 to 2012 and then went on to serve in the same capacity for the Dodgers and Padres.
To me, McGwire would be a natural fit as the hitting coach especially with Mark Budaska already installed as the assistant hitting coach. This combination would make a wonderful pairing. But… so would Clapp and Buda.
For my money, I would love to see both McGwire and Clapp coach for the Cardinals in 2019.
Time will tell what the Cardinals do with these vacancies but it just feels like they are waiting for this perfect storm to arrive.