St. Louis Cardinals fans might not be on the same page regarding the coaching staff as the organization is internally.
If you stopped and polled a selection of St. Louis Cardinals fans before or after a game outside Busch Stadium, chances are seven or more would advocate for manager Oli Marmol to be replaced. While there is plenty of finger-pointing to be done, the manager typically has to fall on the sword when a team falls this far below expectations.
St. Louis, in mid-June, is 27-42, last place in the NL Central, and 8.5 games out of first place (shockingly, to the leading Pittsburgh Pirates). You could pick nit-pick team stats that the Cardinals have struggled in but at the end of the day, the outcomes in games as far as wins and losses tell most of whole story.
While fans may clamor for Marmol to go and to be replaced by a new (but perhaps familiar!) face in the dugout, that’s not necessarily the tone in the organization itself.
Nolan Arenado and other players stand by St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff
Fans won’t like this one.
Speaking to Katie Woo of The Athletic, Nolan Arenado expressed support for Marmol and the entire Cardinals coaching staff (subscription required). Arenado said the coaches are doing a, “great,” job and specifically called out their preparation.
While Arenado’s assessment is obviously hard to challenge because he knows the clubhouse well and more intimately than any fan ever will, there are countless mistakes that could be pointed to that Marmol has made this year. It’s hard to look past that and appreciate Marmol for something as tacit as preparation.
That argument feels fairly flimsy, too. You prepare to win games. To some degree, one could argue if you’re stacking losses on top of losses, the preparation is entirely ineffective.
Arenado went on to point that Marmol has been dealt what he called a, “tough hand,” and that the team is young, that inexperience shining through.
That, too, feels like a weak argument for Marmol considering other young teams are playing well above expectations, including the Pirates in the Cardinals’ own division. St. Louis is the 11th-youngest in the MLB based on weighted batter age, and the 10th-oldest when looking at starting pitchers.
Only one team younger than the Cardinals has more losses than St. Louis: The Kansas City Royals, the purely youngest team in the MLB.
The Cardinals aren’t extremely experienced, but it’s not a good excuse for Marmol.
Frankly, there are no good excuses for this team. They’re playing below where they should, and that’s that.