By: Jonathan Goad
The St. Louis Cardinals have found their manager for the next few years. They removed the interim tag from Mike Shildt’s position and signed him to a two-year deal through 2020.
Is this a good move? It seems to be.
🔥 27-12 under Mike Shildt.
🔥 Winners of 16-of-our-last-18.
🔥 20 August wins leads the majors.
🔥 Most wins in the majors since the All-Star Break (26).
🔥 Looking to win our 10th consecutive series for the first time since 2009. pic.twitter.com/9MM8Skl8df
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 29, 2018
The Cardinals are one of the hottest teams in the MLB and Shildt putting the right guys on the field and managing his bullpen well is the reason why.
Most notably, Harrison Bader has been an everyday starter, which is something that should have happened back in May. Tyler O’Neill is getting extended playing time and making the most of it, as well.
The team has rallied behind Shildt and has become a serious MLB Postseason contender. When Matheny was let go, the Cardinals were 7.5 games back in the NL Central and four-full games back of the second wild card spot.
Today, the Cardinals trail the Cubs by four games in the NL Central and lead the Wild Card by 1.5 games. That’s quite a turnaround from a team who looked to be on the outside looking in come playoff time.
Mike Shildt has had a very nice career, mostly in the minors. He started managing rookie ball in 2009, spending eight years managing the Springfield Cardinals (AA) and Memphis Redbirds (AAA) — winning championships in both places.
That very success lead to his promotion to the Major League club last season, as a scout, where Shildt has quickly worked his way up through the ranks to become the 50th manager in Cardinals history.
Since being named the 50th manager in franchise history, Mike Shildt has guided the Cardinals to a 26-12 record, the most wins amongst all Major League teams during that time period. pic.twitter.com/Neh3cuFg16
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 28, 2018
Shildt is getting his shot, and he probably deserves it. However, for him, nothing is really going to change.
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 28, 2018
In my opinion, Shildt is an excellent choice to have to take over the manager position for the next few years. He’s worked with many of his current players before in the minor league system, which has undoubtedly helped him get control of the locker room — where it was rumored that Matheny had lost it.
Shildt has found that wayward swagger, and then some. The younger players know Shildt and naturally, respect and respond well to his coaching style. He has been a great in-game manager and has done well with the bullpen.
On the other hand, Shildt has only managed 38 big-league games in his career. Committing this early to him for the next few seasons may be a bit premature.
Waiting until the off-season to drop the interim tag from his position might have been a better idea just to see how the final month of regular season, and possibly postseason baseball goes.
Making a move now looks excellent if the Cardinals have postseason success, say a trip to the NLCS or even the coveted World Series. Only time will tell how this move pays-off, but to me, it looks to be like the right.
That’s a winner!
Congratulations to Mike Shildt! Now keep on winning and don’t ever stop!