Baseball is a game of adjustments. In the middle of a game a player will adjust on the fly - shortening his swing with two strikes, looking to drive the ball with one out and a runner on third - things like that. In between games, a player might experiment with different strategies based on previous outcomes, research he has done, or feedback he has received. In the offseason the adjustments are more preparation-based. Exercising certain muscle groups, adjusting diets, or increasing flexibility might be on the players agenda.
The organization goes through these same adjustments as well. In the baseball offseason a team must adjust the team in preparation for the upcoming spring. It must evaluate what it did well, what needs to change, and, perhaps most importantly, how to keep what worked a part of the organization. It can be a delicate dance. Newer talent crave increased responsibility and deserve compensation, but loyal, longtime personnel have earned respect and returned loyalty.
I am, in particular, referring to José Oquendo, Pop Warner, and Stubby Clapp. With the promotion of Mike Shildt to manager, there has become a bit of a bottleneck at the top of the coaching hierarchy. In fact, Stubby Clapp may already be sought out for a manager job:
Blue Jays execs were phoning around last 10 days doing their due diligence on Stubby Clapp, manager of year at AAA Memphis. He was hitting coach at AA New Hampshire in 2015. Clapp could be added to St. Louis Cards major league coaching staff @BlueJays @Cardinals— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) October 16, 2018
In effort to keep all their best personnel in the organization, the Cardinals have made a few moves.
Stubby Clapp is expected to have a role on the Major League coaching staff if he doesn't take job elsewhere (i.e. Blue Jays manager). #STLCards— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) October 16, 2018
Budaska remains as #2 hitting coach. Clapp a candidate for 1B coach and hitting coach...#STLCards— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) October 16, 2018
Some other staff changes for #STLCards ... Oliver Marmol to bench coach; Pop Warner to 3B coach; Mark Budaska will remain as hitting coach; George Greer will return to minor league role.— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) October 16, 2018
José Oquendo has stepped down as Cardinals Third Base Coach to move to Jupiter to work with developing younger players. This is something he is been highly praised for and work he seems to enjoy. In his absence Pop Warner will take over as third base coach. The role of first base and hitting coaching will remain open for Stubby Clapp, should he return to the Cardinals. Mark “Buddha” Budaska will keep his job as hitting coach. Oliver Marmol has moved to bench coach.
The Cardinals seem to have filled their coaching staff with a lot of smart baseball people. Hopefully they are able to keep them around!
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