After a year in the role that has become a stepping stone from the Cardinals dugout to promotion, Skip Schumaker was named the new manager of the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, and his departure offers a glimpse of what could be several changes to come in the staff of Oliver Marmol in St . Louis.
Schumaker is the Cardinals’ fourth consecutive bench coach to transition from that role to rookie manager for a major league club. The former Cardinals leadoff hitter and 2011 World Series champion with the club that drafted him, Schumaker is leaving after a year on the Marmol coaching staff to become the 16th manager in Marlins history.
He will still show up for spring training in Jupiter, Florida.
It will be just across the complex from Roger Dean Stadium.
“Delivering a winning and sustainable culture in hopes of making the playoffs is the next step for this organization and South Florida,” Schumaker said in a statement provided by the team. “And I can’t wait to get started.”
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From the day they hired him for a return to St. Louis, the Cardinals were prepared for the possibility of a quick departure from Schumaker to become the manager of another team.
“We are happy and proud that Skip had this opportunity,” said John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations. “Miami is hiring a qualified manager who will bring his own personality to this job. He is organized, thoughtful, progressive and ready for the job.”
The Cardinals are finalizing their management and coaching staff for the upcoming season. Earlier this month, the Cardinals granted multi-year extensions to general manager Michael Girsch and assistant general manager Randy Flores. The Cardinals now have an opening for the bench coach as Marmol enters his second year as manager.
And other notable changes to Marmol personnel are possible.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux’s contract is set to expire, prompting questions about whether he will return after serving in the role for five seasons and three different managers. The Cardinals may explore other pitching coach candidates. The team must also address batting coach Jeff Albert’s current contract and the composition of the batting coaching staff.
The Cardinals have several inside candidates to replace Schumaker as bench coach, including first base coach and infield guru Stubby Clapp. Third base coach Ron “Pop” Warner performed bench coaching duties during Schumaker’s late-season absence, but Warner also expressed a fondness for coaching third base. Class AAA Memphis manager Ben Johnson is highly regarded within the organization for what he did with the Redbirds and for preparing the parade of rookies that the Cardinals relied on for several seasons. He could be a candidate for coaching positions opened by any other reshuffle.
Matt Holliday, recently inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame, is close to Marmol, and he has previously had discussions about a role with the organization.
The Cardinals plan to further detail their early-offseason plans and discuss any coaching staff decisions with the media on Wednesday.
The Cardinals’ last four bench coaches became major league managers after serving in that role: David Bell (Cincinnati), Mike Shildt (Cardinals), Marmol (Cardinals) and now Schumaker (Marlins), who turns 43 in February .
When the Cardinals lured Schumaker to St. Louis to be Marmol’s bench coach, they did so knowing he was considered a rising talent on his way to coaching. They structured his contract as a series of options so Schumaker could return to Southern California if time away from his family was prohibitive or if there was an opportunity to pursue a role closer to home. Or, of course, a manager position was offered. Schumaker planned to return to the Cardinals for 2023 until he was approached for the Miami opener.
The Marlins conducted an extensive search for Don Mattingly’s replacement after the former MVP’s seven years at the helm. Schumaker’s application quickly gained momentum after an initial interview.
“As we continue to grow as an organization, we felt it was important to find someone who had been part of a winning culture,” said Kim Ng, general manager of the Marlins, in a press release. club. “Having been a member of two Championship teams, along with his reputation for tenacity and making the most of his ability, Skip will be a tremendous example to our players. His leadership style, teaching skills and attention to detail make him the obvious choice as the club’s new manager.
A fifth-round pick by the Cardinals in 2001, center fielder Schumaker was part of the minor league generation that included Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, all of whom arrived in the majors in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Schumaker played in 28 games in 2006 with the Cardinals, who won the World Series that season. In 2008, Schumaker was a regular with a .302 ERA and .359 on-base percentage. In 2009, he was a second baseman. To keep his bat in line and clear the way for another outfielder, Schumaker learned the new position on the volley at the highest level, often with coach Jose Oquendo using a pitching machine to fire balls at him on the ground. at 100 mph.
He spent four seasons at second base for the Cardinals, starting at both second and center for the Cardinals in their title run in 2011. Schumaker had the game’s only RBI in the Cardinals’ 1-0 win. Cardinals to win the National League Division Series in Philadelphia the night Chris Carpenter threw a shutout.
Traded to the Dodgers after the 2012 season, Schumaker also spent two seasons with Cincinnati before retiring while in spring training with San Diego in 2016. The Padres offered him a role with the organization, which became a coaching position. He spent time as a first base coach and associate manager while joining the industry’s shortlist of likely future managers.
Upon his return to St. Louis, Schumaker had a quick relationship with Marmol — as a sounding board during games, as a logistics expert for practices and meetings, and as a confidante for strategic discussions. , roster decisions, potential roster moves and game reviews.
He takes over a team that has a bona fide ace in former Cardinals prospect Sandy Alcantara and a tough National League East showdown against the high-spending New York Mets and the last two NL pennant winners, Atlanta and Philadelphia. . Not to mention the struggles the Marlins have in energizing the fanbase and attracting crowds.
The Marlins have made the playoffs once since winning the World Series in 2003, and they haven’t had a full-season winning record since 2009. They’ve won a championship twice in history. of the club, but have never finished first in a division.
“Skip has a long list of distinguished accomplishments as a player and coach that showcase the remarkable individual that he is as well as the high level of credibility and leadership that he will bring to the shelter and the organization. of the Marlins,” said the president and principal owner. Bruce Sherman said in a statement. “He has incredible passion and a winning spirit that will lead the way for the Marlins franchise.”