Grading the 4 biggest Cardinals offseason moves so far

ST. LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 14: Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the dugout during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on September 14, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t necessarily been very active this off-season, but the moves they have made should have some considerable impact. 

John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, went into this offseason with specific goals. He’s achieved most of those goals but could still make a splash to bolster their starting rotation and bench.

Let’s grade their moves thus far.

Cardinals make several coaching moves

The team lost bench coach Skip Schumaker to the Miami Marlins, who hired him as their next manager. The team hired Matt Holliday to take his place as bench coach. Holliday is a Cardinals Hall of Famer after eight seasons with the team. Holliday was most recently the assistant coach to his brother, Josh, at Oklahoma State University.

Jeff Albert decided to step away from the Cardinals’ hitting coach role. He cited outside criticism as the primary reason he was stepping away from being the hitting coach. He received criticism as it seemed his teaching methods were not being explained in a manner the players could comprehend.

Mozeliak promoted assistant coach Turner Ward to hitting coach. Ward and Paul Goldschmidt go back to the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system. Goldschmidt and Ward could often be seen talking after his at-bats, bouncing around ideas.

Brandon Allen was named the team’s assistant hitting coach. Allen was most recently the hitting coach for the AAA Memphis Redbirds. Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill succeeded in working with Allen in AAA last season after struggling in St. Louis. Nolan Gorman had significant success in Memphis, making it impossible for the Cardinals not to promote him to St. Louis.

Mike Maddox originally decided to step down as pitching coach to slow things down and take on another role in the Cardinals organization. Instead, Maddox was hired as pitching coach for the Texas Rangers, a role he previously held.  Maddox will be closer to home in Dallas.

The Cardinals hired Dusty Blake as the pitching coach. He was previously a pitching coordinator within the organization. Julio Rangel was hired as assistant pitching and bullpen coach.

All of these coaching changes should bring improvement to the Cardinals. Holliday is a team Hall of Famer that knows the Cardinal Way. He can help his long-time friend, manager Oli Marmol. He can help with providing a different perspective on hitting and strength training and acting as a mentor to the team’s younger players.

Getting a new perspective from a hitting coach that can better explain strategies to help improve hitters at the plate will be a vast improvement for the team. It should be fun to see how Ward and Allen impact the line-up, who often fell into ruts that turned into significant issues to improve on.

This will be Blake’s first stint as an on-the-field coach after working in the background as a pitching coordinator. It will be interesting to see how he converts his knowledge as a coordinator to help implement strategies for improving the pitching staff. Rangel will provide a brand new perspective from outside the organization as a bullpen coach.

Coaching Moves: B 

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on

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