4 Cardinals the fans have already lost patience with
By Eric Treuden
There is perhaps nobody associated with the organization that fans are losing patience with faster than manager Oli Marmol.
His first season at the helm came last year, and the Cardinals promptly won 93 games and finished first in the NL Central. However, this year has not started off as strong and things are going south real fast for him.
So often are managers immediately viewed as the scapegoats for any given team's problems. However, there are times when such a label is warranted, and this appears to be one of them. For starters, the way he handled the aforementioned Tyler O'Neill incident was just awful. Instead of quietly addressing things behind closed doors, he blew it up and took it to the media, who always put magnifying glasses on things like this.
Aside from O'Neill, he has also given entirely too many chances to Jordan Hicks, who is now a shell of the pitcher he once was. The 26-year-old has a 6.19 ERA and has run into a complete loss of control. Marmol has only just recently begun to limit his high-leverage usage, but the first month-plus of the season was hard to watch as Hicks was absolutely annihilated every single time he took the mound.
And finally, there's whatever the heck you call what's going on with Willson Contreras right now. After the retirement of Yadier Molina and the failed attempt to trade for Sean Murphy, the Cardinals pivoted and signed the longtime Chicago Cub to be their long-term catcher. Just under two months into this new chapter, Contreras was removed from the catcher's spot after the pitching staff began to struggle. It's a well known fact that Contreras has never been known as a top-tier defender behind the plate, but for the Cardinals to openly announce that they had lost faith in him this early in the season is a massive no-no.
Less than a week after his demotion to designated hitter, Marmol, and the Cardinals are apparently ready to put Contreras back behind the plate. This move clearly signifies that Marmol got his hand slapped for how he handled things and is being forced to revert back to the original plan: Contreras is the catcher for the next five years, for better or for worse.
Time and time again, Marmol has put himself into hot water with his bone-headed comments to the press and head-scratching decisions made in-game. Fans are more than ready to have him out of the manager's seat, and at this point, who can blame them?