Cardinals assistant hitting coach Daniel Nicolaisen has resigned, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed to reporters, together with Rob Rains of STL Sports Page. He has accepted a brand new place as an assistant coach for the College of Mississippi softball group. The Denmark native earned his first huge league job this previous offseason after two years spent within the Cardinals minor league system. Previous to that, he labored as a softball coach at Seton Corridor College. Evidently, he has determined to return to his roots; he grew up enjoying softball in Denmark.
The Cardinals can be selling minor league hitting coordinator Russ Steinhorn to fill Nicolaisen’s spot on the main league teaching employees, at the least in the meanwhile. Funnily sufficient, it was Steinhorn who initially employed Nicolaisen as a minor league coach again in 2020.
In different Cardinals information, Mozeliak additionally confirmed to reporters (together with Katie Woo of The Athletic) that Oliver Marmol will return to handle the membership in 2024, the ultimate yr of his contract. Given the group’s disappointing efficiency this season — this can be their first shedding marketing campaign since 2007 — hypothesis that Marmol’s job was in jeopardy started to come up. Nevertheless, the president of baseball operations didn’t mince phrases, saying, “I do know he’ll be again subsequent yr.”
Mozeliak continued, “There’s all the time going to be finger-pointing on what went incorrect, what may now we have finished otherwise. And that begins with myself…however I’m actually inspired with what I see from Oli as a younger supervisor.” Certainly, it’s arduous to pin an excessive amount of of the blame for the Cardinals’ misfortunes on Marmol. Whereas some have criticized his public communication abilities and participant relations (RE: his squabble with Tyler O’Neill and his preliminary comments about shifting Willson Contreras off catcher), there’s solely a lot a supervisor can do when his pitching employees is bleeding runs and so lots of his gamers are underperforming.
Furthermore, St. Louis not too long ago misplaced a long-time clubhouse chief when Yadier Molina retired, and so they’re quickly to lose one other in Adam Wainwright. It’s comprehensible why Mozeliak doesn’t wish to undergo one other main change in management; in any case, it’s solely been two years since Marmol took the helm, and he led the group to a superb end in 2022.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply there gained’t be modifications coming to the group. Mozeliak supplied reward for a lot of his teaching employees, together with rookie pitching coach Dusty Blake. On the similar time, he acknowledged that changes should happen behind the scenes. As sources told The Athletic, the Cardinals are within the early levels of restructuring their complete participant improvement system, and the group views bettering the baseball operations division to be simply as vital as adding more pitching.
It’s simple to grasp why the Cardinals would wish to revamp their participant improvement and baseball operations departments. A number of of their high prospects and younger gamers have struggled to carry out on the huge league degree this season, together with Matthew Liberatore, Alec Burleson, Dylan Carlson, and Jake Woodford. The group has additionally struggled to make selections, corresponding to after they briefly moved Contreras to DH and briefly demoted Jordan Walker. Worst of all, the entrance workplace didn’t put collectively a aggressive pitching employees over the offseason, as an alternative relying too closely on a set of growing old veterans, injury-prone pitchers, and rookies. Suffice it to say, it hasn’t labored out.
The Cardinals don’t want to fireplace their supervisor, however clearly, they should make some modifications to handle all the things that has gone incorrect in 2023. It appears to be a matter of when, not if, these modifications happen.