Skip Schumaker Hired to Helm Marlins

Skip Schumaker

Skip Schumaker Hired as Marlins Manager

The Miami Marlins named Skip Schumaker their new manager, the 16th in franchise history. Schumaker, a former player, will succeed the club’s longest-tenured skipper Don Mattingly, who managed Miami for seven seasons.

Mattingly and the Marlins mutually agreed to part ways after the season. While Donnie Baseball achieved the feat of bringing the Marlins back to the postseason in 2020 after a 17-year drought, the rest of his tenure consisted of losing seasons. Schumaker will replicate the success of others still on their first managerial tenure, including Scott Servais of the Seattle Mariners and Brandon Hyde of the Baltimore Orioles.

Schumaker could look at one model for success: Servais, who helped the Mariners snap their 21-year playoff drought this season. The other is Hyde, who appears to have finally the Orioles headed in the right direction. In both cases, however, it took multiple seasons for the turnaround to manifest.

Schumaker’s playing career and coaching experience should serve him well as a manager. He played 11 seasons in the majors, mostly for the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he won a World Series ring in 2011. An outfielder and second baseman, he was a capable leadoff hitter with a penchant for getting on base. He was also a solid defensive outfielder with a good throwing arm. A few years after his 2015 retirement, Schumaker entered the coaching world. He spent four years as first base coach for the San Diego Padres, eventually earning the title of associate manager. This past season, he served as bench coach for the Cardinals.

Schumaker will have a tall task: turning around a small-payroll team that seems to be perpetually rebuilding. While the Marlins made the playoffs in 2020 for the first time since their 2003 championship, it was likely due to the abbreviated 60-game schedule. Miami has regressed since, losing 90+ games the last two seasons.

Mattingly did what he could with his resources, but it was often not enough to reach the postseason. Schumaker, who has played within the last decade, could bring a fresh outlook to the team. The Marlins likely won’t immediately succeed with Schumaker at the helm. But recent history has shown that neophyte managers can eventually turn teams around. If Miami can show patience and put the right pieces in place, “Skip the Skip” could be a perfect fit.

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Players/managers Mentioned:

Skip Schumaker, Scott Servais, Brandon Hyde