5 candidates to be the St. Louis Cardinals manager

Oliver Marmol #37 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Oliver Marmol #37 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals have a vacancy in their manager role. Here are five people who could fit the job.

The St. Louis Cardinals shocked the baseball world on Thursday as they announced the dismissal of Mike Shildt as manager. John Mozeliak cited “philosophical differences” as the team’s reason for the firing.

Fans have begun to speculate who the new manager will be. I think these five candidates could serve nicely in the role.

Oliver Marmol

Oliver Marmol is currently the Cardinals bench coach, the role Shildt held before his promotion to manager in 2018. Marmol has managing experience with the now-defunct Johnson City Cardinals of the Rookie League 2012, and he was promoted to manage to the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals in 2015. He worked as Shildt’s “right-hand man” throughout Shildt’s time as manager, and assuming the mantle as the big league club’s manager seems like a logical next step.

Stubby Clapp

Stubby Clapp was a star player for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds during his career, and he became the Redbirds’ manager in 2016. He won the PCL Manager of the Year awards in 2017 and 2018, becoming the third manager in PCL history to win the award in consecutive seasons. Clapp is currently the first base coach for the Cardinals. With his level of experience just one rung lower than the major leagues and his success there, he looks primed to take a leap forward into the manager’s spot.

Skip Schumaker

Skip Schumaker played outfield and second base for the Cardinals from 2005 to 2012 and now works as the bench coach for the San Diego Padres. A return to St. Louis wouldn’t be out of the question. Schumaker is analytical, familiar with Cardinals’ organizational philosophy and well liked by fans. He could be harder to hire because he works for a different team, but the manager role is a tantalizing one.

Buck Showalter

While not as analytically minded as most new-school managers, Buck Showalter, who currently works as an analyst for the New York Yankees’ TV network, would bring many years of experience to the role. He would likely fit well with the veterans of the roster, but he might not be the best candidate for a team trying to keep up with these sabermetric times.

Yadier Molina

This isn’t a serious consideration, but rather a fun “what if” situation. There hasn’t been a player-manager since Pete Rose did it with the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1986. Yadier Molina seems to have all the intangibles of managing a team and knows most of the players inside and out. Of course, the poor backup catcher would never get an opportunity to play since Molina has always wanted to play every day.

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Mozeliak has said there were several internal options to look at, so Marmol and Clapp are probably the likeliest candidates, but it’s possible that Mozeliak could surprise fans with his choice, just as he did when he fired Shildt.