In a brief news conference this afternoon, the Cardinals announced their coaching staff for 2012.
Very few surprises here, in all honesty. The only exception being the expected addition of an established coach for the bench. The Cardinals remained within the organization for all positions.
Chris Maloney, who has served as a manager in the minor leagues for the Cardinals, has been promoted and will take over duties at first base for Dave McKay who is being “reassigned within the organization”.
Joining McKay will be longtime bench coach Joe Petini as he is replaced by Mike Aldrete. Aldrete has served as assistant batting instructor and has been rumored for a promotion for some time now.
Meanwhile, third base coach Jose Oquendo, bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist, and hitting coach Mark McGwire will all return under new manager Mike Matheny. Dave Duncan had already confirmed his return and that was reiterated today.
The surprises here come at third base and on the bench for me. I expected the Cardinals to give Matheny a more seasoned veteran at his right hand. Aldrete has put in his time and has a lot of respect within the organization but one has to wonder if this was the right time for his move.
Aldrete started coaching in 2001, working in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system for three years before joining the major league staff in Seattle as a first base coach in 2004. He would return to Arizona as the hitting coach for the following two years before arriving in St. Louis as the assistant hitting coach in 2008.
Oquendo returning to coach third base shows a dedication to the team and confidence from the team. Many felt he was slighted by not being named manager and, hopefully, this shows that there are no hard feelings. It makes one appreciate the Cardinal way of life when you look at the fact that Ryan Sandberg left the Cubs organization when he was passed over for a job that many felt was “his”.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
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