Ranking the Cardinals top managerial options if they fire Oliver Marmol in season

If the Cardinals stumble out of the gates again in 2024, could we see a change at the helm for St. Louis?
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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The 2024 regular season does not start for another month, but the pressure is on for the St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, to make sure that the nightmare that was the 2023 season, does not become commonplace.

2023 saw the Cardinals lose 91 games, the most in a single season since 1990, and it ended a streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons. You can distribute the finger-pointing at a lot of things for the disastrous season, but Marmol took plenty of heat throughout the season, and in my opinion, it was totally justified.

The criticism of Marmol began almost immediately in the opening week of the season when he called out Tyler O'Neill for what he thought was a lack of hustle trying to score late in a game against the Atlanta Braves. Then there was the fiasco with removing Willson Contreras from behind the plate. Add on his questionable lineup decisions and his bullpen management, Marmol may not have a lot of fans in St. Louis right now.

So the Cardinals went into this offseason not wanting to embrace how last season went, with an eagerness to contend this year in what is projected to be a weak National League Central division once again. There will be plenty of new faces this year, mostly on the pitching staff, and the Cardinals have done a good job at adding lots of veteran leadership and positive locker room guys, but that begs the question, did the Cardinals make these moves to help Marmol manage the clubhouse?

Did Oli Marmol lose the team last year? Do they not have faith in their two best players Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Areando to be vocal leaders? Is there something more going on? These are common questions people will ask when you have an extremely disappointing season unexpectedly. So what if the Cardinals get off to a bad start in 2024, is Marmol out the door? I wrote about this topic last May so I guess you could consider this an update on who would potentially replace Marmol. Here are my 5 top candidates as it stands right now.