The former hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals was one of a few candidates for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach.
The Diamondbacks will have a new hitting coach in 2019. The newcomer, Darnell Coles, comes to Arizona from Milwaukee. But before Cole was named to this position a former coaching member from the St. Louis Cardinals was considered for the job.
Mabry was one of the worst parts of the Mike Matheny era for the St. Louis Cardinals. And this is a really sad thing since he served originally under big Mark McGwire as his assistant hitting coach before taking the role when McGwire departed for San Diego.
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In addition to Mabry, the Diamondbacks interviewed the Cubs’ ousted hitting coach Chili Davis, White Sox hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger, Athletic’s triple-A manager Eric Chavez, and the incumbent assistant hitting coach Tim Laker. Of these candidates, Mabry is the last who I would have handed the job.
During Mabry’s tenure with the Cardinals, the offense watched its numbers decline. Why would any NL team take on Mabry unless they were interested in remaining in third place? I’m sure that the team in Arizona with interest in overtaking the Dodgers could use someone better than Mabry and, indeed, that is just the route they wisely chose.
For the best assessment on Mabry, fans need only jump back to May of 2018 wherein Derrick Goold shared Mabry’s reputation as a hitting coach. In the piece, he stated:
"…you hear some from players about how hitting coaches work for them, and how some don’t work for them. And Mark Reynolds last year was going on and on about how Mabry worked for him as a hitting coach and they connected, and that’s the kind of comments that you get."
Despite this positive sharing, Mabry failed to have the same luck with all batters. This lack of luck was just too much for the Cardinals’ front office which lead to Mabry’s dismissal alongside Matheny too late in the 2018 season.
To those who liked Mabry (if you exist out there), I just find it hard to believe that any other team would want Mabry after his failed attempt at the job in St. Louis… But, that’s just me.
The St. Louis Cardinals, like the Diamonbacks, will have a new hitting coach in 2019. Let’s hope he is years better than Mabry could have ever dreamed.