The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to hire longtime outfielder Skip Schumaker as bench coach.
When the St. Louis Cardinals hired Oli Marmol as manager, the team hoped to keep the coaching staff mostly in place. The only position they needed to replace, of course, was Marmol as bench coach. At long last, they have — and it’s a hire that will excite Cardinals fans.
The Cardinals are expected to hire Skip Schumaker as bench coach, according to Rob Rains of StLSportsPage.com, the reporter who first reported that Mike Shildt had been fired.
Schumaker, 41, is widely regarded as a future manager — he spent the past few seasons as associate manager of the San Diego Padres — and will provide a veteran sounding board for Marmol, who is a first-time manager. It also brings Schumaker back to St. Louis, where he spent eight seasons as a player, hitting .288/.345/.377 with 23 home runs, 211 RBI and became a prominent leader on a Cardinals team that had Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, among others.
It has been no secret that the Cardinals have had interest in Schumaker. In fact, he was connected to the team during their managerial search and once they settled on Marmol, was immediately mentioned as a candidate to replace Marmol as bench coach. The hire, which it is unclear when it will be announced, will give them a strong 1-2 punch to the coaching staff — and is sure to please long-time veterans Molina and Adam Wainwright, among others.
In a season that not only will have World Series expectations, but also will be Molina and Wainwright’s last seasons, it’s the right move for a variety of reasons. There is a chance that Schumaker will be one and done in St. Louis, of course, with his name emerging on most team’s managerial lists. But the bench coach hire was easily going to be Marmol’s most important — and he absolutely nailed it.