On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals confirmed that there will be no coaching changes for the 2021 season. Fans are not happy.
After the St. Louis Cardinals decided to keep Mike Shildt around as the manager after the 2018 season, they added Jeff Albert to their staff as the hitting coach. Albert had been the assistant hitting coach for the Astros and was tasked as the man to bring the Cardinals into the next generation of analytics.
From top to bottom, the Cardinals have been making the shift to embrace analytics, led by Albert.
After Albert was praised when he was hired as a coach who would do wonders for the offense, things haven’t been sunshine and rainbows. After a full season in 2019 and a shortened 2020, fans saw the same offense both years.
At the same time, Albert dealt with conflicting views in the clubhouse last season and in total, Albert has been in charge as the hitting coach for less than a season and a half’s worth of games.
Despite calls for Albert’s job after another season of subpar offense, the team announced Monday that Albert, as well as the rest of Mike Shildt’s staff, would be returning for 2021.
Immediately, the public outcry was immense.
Fans are not happy that the front office is remaining complacent with the same staff. However, the short time frame and wacky 2020 season can not be understated. At this point, I’m not sure how to feel about the move, but it isn’t the end of the world.
There is a debate with plenty of merits about just how much a hitting coach really does in the day-to-day performance of a player.
There is a very understandable argument to be made that, even with a new hitting coach, this offense may still underperform to the same degree it has the past two seasons. At the end of the day, I think personnel has much more to do with offensive performance than hitting coaches, but the coach isn’t irrelevant.
Hitting coaches rarely get fired within three years of hiring, so it’s not surprising to see Albert back for next year. I know this makes a lot of you angry, and to that I’d say, you have your vote with your dollar.
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We have a long offseason ahead of us, and the coaching staff is just one way of improving the offense. The pressure is on to make the personnel changes necessary now.