Cardinals new manager: 3 ideal candidates to replace Mike Shildt

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As the Cardinals grapple with firing manager Mike Shildt, there are at least 3 new skipper candidates to consider for St. Louis.

The Cardinals’ decision to part ways with Mike Shildt over “philosophical difference” was unprecedented in more ways than one.

There’s the fact that Shildt was expected to be quickly signed to an extension in the postseason following a historic 17-game win streak for the Cardinals. Under Shildt, the Cardinals made a remarkable late-season play for the playoffs, narrowly losing to the powerhouse Dodgers with 1-3 in the Wild Card round. Shildt was credited with giving the Cardinals the stability they needed to see the postseason. A little less than a week ago, it was reported that Shildt’s 2022 extension was already in the works.

In addition to breaking expectations, the Cardinals also break with tradition on this one. St. Louis has only had three managers since 1996, with Shildt being the Cards manager since 2018. Shildt was the first full-time manager who served less than three seasons in 40 years.

Here are three potential candidates to take Shildt’s place and usher in a new era for the St. Louis Cardinals.

3. Stubby Clapp

Stubby Clapp makes sense as an internal promotion, which is what Shildt was when he transitioned from Cardinals coach to manager in 2018.

Clapp had an eleven-year career playing baseball, most notably for the Cardinals in 2001. Clapp also played for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, a team he would return to as manager in 2016.

In Memphis, Clapp led the Redbirds to two consecutive Pacific League Coast titles and the 2018 Triple-A Championship. Clapp then returned to the Cardinals in 2019 as their first base coach, where he remains to this day.

Because Clapp has already interviewed for managerial positions, he is an experienced, familiar candidate who seems to wield several advantages over other potential candidates.

2. Skip Schumaker

Skip Schumaker is busy making a name for himself in San Diego, but his unique experience and talents make him a prime candidate for this particular managerial opening.

As the Padres bench coach, Schumaker has utilized game analytics and player intuition that makes him a Padres’ leader informed at every level of the game.

While Padres fans are excited by the prospect of keeping him on their team, he’s an early favored candidate for the Cardinals opening. After all, Schumaker was scouted by John Mozeliak back in 2001, meaning Mozeliak is already fond of the Padres’ candidate.

1. Matt Holliday

Matt Holliday was a “long shot” candidate that MLB insider Jeff Passan put forward, but the name is gaining traction as another potential candidate for the St. Louis gig. But Holliday, another former Cardinal, starts to make sense upon further investigation. After Mozeliak traded for him in 2009, the star outfielder spent eight years in St. Louis.

After retiring from the MLB in 2018, Holliday is now a hitting and out fielding coach at Oklahoma State. His brother, Josh, is OSU’s head baseball coach, while his father, Tom, coached at OSU for many years.

If Matt Holliday takes his coaching legacy to the major leagues, his lengthy career with the Cardinals could make him the perfect fit as the team’s future skipper.

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