Despite struggles, St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff is safe

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Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals claps before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals claps before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Despite the struggles of the St. Louis Cardinals, the coaching staff appears to have job security beyond just this 2021 season.

After each St. Louis Cardinals loss, it feels like there is an outcry among fans for the organization to change something. Maybe make a trade. Maybe to change the lineup or tinker with the rotation. Lately, however, the team’s coaching staff has come under fire, though it’s always been hard to see them making any major changes during the season.

Indeed, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the team is happy with their coaching staff, which features hitting coach Jeff Albert and pitching coach Mike Maddux.

“We like our coaching staff,” Mozeliak said. “We believe in what they’re doing. I do think at some point we may have to do something different — not saying change coaches. Maybe mix up the lineup. Maybe do something in a different manner. Because at our current rate it’s not producing the positive outcome we want.”

If there was any coach who would be on the hot seat, it’s Albert. The Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado to put the offense over the top, giving the organization a superstar to pair with Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup. The result has been the offense ranking last at getting on base, ranking in the bottom half of the league in slugging and OPS, as well as continually struggling with stringing together sustained periods of success.

Maddux, however, is safe. He’s widely regarded as one of the premier pitching coaches in baseball and if the Cardinals ever let him go, he’d be hired almost immediately. And Shildt is in a similar position. He has the entire organization’s support and the players are said to love him by multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

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Yes, that does not automatically mean that Shildt should be safe. But he is regarded as one of the top managers in the National League and the Cardinals are wise to be happy with him at the helm. But if they decide to make a change on the coaching staff, Albert appears to be the prime candidate — though Mozeliak’s comments suggest that they are not close to reaching that point any time soon.

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