June 18, 2024

The St. Louis Cardinals are in danger of finishing last for the second time in a row, with only a quarter of the season gone. The squad is 18-25 heading into a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox, on pace for only 67 wins this season. Sellers at the 2023 trade deadline, the organization has only a few weeks to determine whether to sell again this season or remain competitive. If the Cardinals decide to part ways with manager Oliver Marmol, they have several possibilities.

Oliver Marmol: Cardinals Fire Sale?

The Cardinals rank last in the National League in terms of scoring and third-lowest overall. The squad has the third lowest overall batting average (.225) and is dead last in the MLB in batting average with runners in scoring position (.191).

“You don’t have to be a baseball expert to understand that our offense isn’t producing enough to be successful right now,” said John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, in a radio interview with KMOX on Sunday.

Mozeliak cited the team’s injury problems as well as its terrible luck in having six or seven batters go cold at once. Former MVP Paul Goldschmidt’s poor start to the season, combined with slow starts from Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, and a slew of outfielders, has perplexed Cardinals management. Willson Contreras’ injury last week was a major setback for an already struggling core. The Cardinals’ lack of runs and accompanying victories is frustrating the fanbase.

“Right now, we’re trying to figure out if we were to do something what would that look like?” Mozeliak explained. “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

In March, the Cardinals re-signed manager Oliver Marmol to a two-year contract. The resignation occurred the season after the Cardinals finished last in the NL Central with a 71-91 record.

“The Cardinals are without a doubt a team that we are all watching and wondering what their future holds,” baseball insider Ken Rosenthal said on the Foul Territory podcast this week.

As the Cardinals face the possibility of another losing season, Rosenthal highlighted that much would depend on the next month. He intimated that if the Cardinals do not return to the playoffs, Marmol may not be able to continue the season as manager.

“There’s a lot of strain on Mozeliak, and there’s a lot of pressure on the entire company, including manager Ollie Marmol. “The fans there are very frustrated,” Rosenthal remarked.

Mozeliak feels the pressure of frustration as well. He told KMOX last week that he believes Marmol still understands the job and is making sound judgments, but he recognizes that the fans want to see results.

“At some point, you need to perform. I understand that people are unhappy with me and Ollie, and I don’t think whatever I say here today will change that,” Mozeliak remarked.

Potential Candidates if Cardinals Fire Marmol

Oliver Marmol on the Cardinals' 7-2 loss | 05/15/2024 | MLB.com


According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, three names have emerged as potential contenders for Cardinals manager. Heyman stated that the best contender is Skip Schumaker, the defending NL Manager of the Year. Other options include Cardinals stars Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols.

When questioned about Schumaker’s chances of becoming Cardinals manager in 2025, Rosenthal indicated he has a strong shot.

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

If the team decides to replace Marmol before the completion of the 2024 season, they will require a manager sooner.

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

Molina managed club Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and is presently leading a Venezuelan club. Pujols is scheduled to manage a team in the Dominican Republic this winter.

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