St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak began his afternoon press conference with a statement acknowledging his team’s struggles.
“This is not how we envisioned it,” he began. “This season has not gone as we had hoped. You think back to the off-season and our expectations were extremely high coming into this year. There’s been different facets of the game that we’ve said we were going to focus on and try to improve upon and we’ve come up short. I feel like standing up here and doing nothing and hoping for a different outcome is not the right strategy, so today we’re going to announce a handful of changes that hopefully will have a positive impact on us moving forward.”
Those changes include moves to the St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff.
“I have reassigned Chris Maloney within the organization,” said Mozeliak. “What that looks like is still to be determined. We will move Mike Shildt over to third base as our third base coach and he will be responsible for our outfield defense.”
“It’s the first time in my career I’ve had to make a in-season personnel move from the coaching staff,” added Mozeliak. “The tough part about these types of decisions, you feel like you’re sort of pointing at one person for mistakes. I hope everybody recognizes that all of us feel responsible for where we are. It’s literally a top-to-bottom ownership of where we are. However, you can’t just blow the whole thing up. You have to start somewhere and ultimately, we felt like we had to do something different today.”
Assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller has taken a leave of absence. Mark Budaska, the hitting coach at Memphis (AAA) will step into that role during this time. Also, Ron “Pop” Warner will help in a variety of roles on the big league staff.
First base coach Oliver Marmol will remain responsible for the infield defense.
In addition, Kolten Wong will be activated from the disabled list (elbow) prior to this evening’s game. In the corresponding roster move, Jhonny Peralta will be designated for assignment.
The coaching changes were discussed with Mike Matheny, who now also finds himself in a position to deliver.
“I think everybody, including myself, is not in the most secure situation right now,” said Mozeliak. “As I stated, expectations from ownership on down are very high. When you’re under-performing, people have to make changes. As far as where Mike sits, I want him to feel confident that we trust him to do his job and we want to give him that. But we clearly need to be doing better.”