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National League Central Manager Is on the Hot Seat

A quarter of the way into the season, the St. Louis Cardinals are in danger of a second straight last place finish. The team is 18-25 going into a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox and on pace for just 67 wins on the season. Sellers at the 2023 trade deadline, the team has just a few weeks to decide if they will sell again this season or continue to try and contend. The Cardinals have some options if they decide to move on from manager Oliver Marmol.

Oliver Marmol: Cardinals Fire Sale?

The Cardinals are last in the National League in scoring and third lowest in the league. The team has the seventh lowest team batting average at .225 and is dead last in MLB in batting average with runners in scoring position at .191

“You don’t have to be a baseball expert to understand that our offense is not putting up enough to be successful right now,” said John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations for the Cardinals on Sunday during a radio interview with KMOX.

Mozeliak pointed to injury issues the team has had and bad luck with six or seven batters being cold at the same time. The horrible start to the season for former MVP Paul Goldschmidt continues to perplex Cardinals management along with slow starts from Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, and a host of outfielders. The injury to Willson Contreras last week was a huge blow for an already struggling core. The lack of runs and subsequent wins is frustrating the Cardinals fanbase.

“Right now, we’re trying to figure out if we were to do something what would that look like?” Mozeliak said. “I assure you we are talking about it endlessly, we are beating ourselves up over it, and we certainly want to change our trajectory and we want to do anything we can to make that happen.”

Marmol on the Hot Seat

The Cardinals re-signed manager Olliver Marmol in March to a two-year deal. The resigning came the season after the Cardinals finished last in the NL Central with a 71-91 season.

“The Cardinals are without question a team that we are all looking at and wondering what their future is going to be,” said baseball insider Ken Rosenthal on the Foul Territory podcast this week.

As the Cardinals face the potential of another lost season, Rosenthal explained a lot will hinge on the next month. If the Cardinals don’t climb back into the playoff race, he hinted Marmol may not finish the season managing the team.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Mozeliak, there’s a lot of pressure on that organization in general, including Ollie Marmol as the manager. The fans there are quite frustrated,” Rosenthal said.

The pressure from that frustration is something Mozeliak feels as well. He told KMOX last week that he feels Marmol still understands the job and is making the right decisions, but he knows the fanbase wants to see results.

“At some level you’ve got to have some performance. I understand that fans are not happy with myself, they’re not happy with Ollie, I don’t think anything I say here today is going to change that,” Mozeliak said.

Potential Candidates if Cardinals Fire Marmol

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Thursday that three names keep popping up as candidates for Cardinals manager. Heyman mentioned that the most ideal candidate is Skip Schumaker, reigning NL Manager of the Year. Other possibilities include Cardinals icons, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols.

When asked about the chances of Schumaker being the Cardinals manager in 2025, Rosenthal said he had a good chance.

“Not the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard, that’s for sure,” Rosenthal said on the Foul Territory podcast.

If the team does move on from Marmol before the end of the 2024 season, however, they would need a manager available sooner.

“Molina is said to be interested in managing, provided he gets the thumb up from family, and Pujols also is interested,” Heyman wrote.

Molina managed team Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and is currently managing a team in Venezuela. Pujols is set to manage a team in the Dominican Republic this Winter.

Main Photo: © Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports


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