4pm: The Marlins have now officially announced the hire. “After an extensive process, it is with great pride and excitement that we announced Skip Schumaker as manager of the Miami Marlins,” chairman and principal owner Bruce Sherman said in the statement.
“I am very excited and grateful that Bruce, Kim and the Marlins organization have given me the opportunity to lead a very talented team,” said Schumaker himself. “Delivering a winning, sustainable culture with the expectation of coming into the post season is the next step for this organization and South Florida — and I can’t wait to get started.”
2:55 p.m.: The Marlins will fill their vacant executive position by hiring Cardinals benching coach Skip Schumaker, according to Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.
As another disappointing season in Miami drew to a close, it was reported that manager Don Mattingly and the club would part ways. In recent weeks, recent reports indicated that the final four candidates were Schumaker, Rays’ bench coach Matt Quatraro, Astros’ bench coach Joe Espada and Yankees’ third base coach Luis Rojas. It now looks like Schumaker has outdone his competition and will become the Fish’s new bank boss.
Schumaker, 43 in February, played in the major leagues from 2005 to 2015, spending time with the Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds. He signed a minor league deal with the Padres for 2016, but announced his retirement in March. It wasn’t long before he got involved in post-play roles as he was hired by the Padres to be their first base coach for 2018. Prior to the 2020 season, the Friars gave him the title of ‘associate manager’. ”
A year ago, the Cardinals said a surprising goodbye to manager Mike Shildt, despite a solid run in the dugout. After they promoted Oli Marmol to take over, they suddenly had a vacancy in the bench coach position and hired Schumaker to take it over. The Marmol-Schumaker pair seemed to work well as the cards went 93-69 in 2022 and recaptured the central division. However, the club is now looking for a new bench trainer for the second year in a row.
For the Marlins, after years of frustration, they want to take a turn. Outside of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, they have not made the playoffs since 2003. There have been many frustrating stops and starts for the fans in that time, with 2022 once looking like it could have been the year the Marlins took a serious leap of faith. They had a strong pitching staff and complemented their position as a player mix by bringing in outside players such as Jorge Soler, Avisail García, Jacob Stallings and Joey Wendle. Unfortunately, all four of those players faced injury or underperformance or both. Coupled with injuries and disappointing results elsewhere on the roster, Miami dropped out again, finishing with a record of 69-93.
General manager Kim Ng and the rest of the front office will certainly hope that Schumaker will play an important role in turning things around. The impact of coaches can be difficult to quantify, but there is no doubt that Schumaker has risen through the ranks quickly. It had only been a few years since he was still playing and he soon joined the major leagues as a coach without requiring a stint in the minors first. From there, he got a promotion in San Diego and was then quickly poached by two different organizations, highlighting the respect he has around the game. As if that weren’t enough, Marlins players are soon showing their approval, with Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Sandy Alcantara who both take to social media to share their enthusiasm (Twitter links).
Of course, a manager cannot make a champion of a poor team alone. There is still a lot of work for the Marlins to upgrade their roster this winter. But for now, they can cross one item off their to-do list and add a young aspiring manager who seems to have a huge amount of respect throughout the game.