The Cardinals moved quickly to name John Mabry the club's new hitting coach and Blaise Ilsley to take over as bullpen coach.
It's not that I have a specific problem with either of these two. While I am not familiar enough with Isley to craft an objection, Mabry was a very methodical hitter who ought to be able to break down hitters' swings and keep Cardinals batsmen fundamentally sound.
But I am a little bit disturbed that the Redbirds' new policy when it comes to the coaching staff is to plug in low dollar, in-house replacements every time there is an opening. Maybe the guys chosen for the job were the best candidates... But, unfortunately, we will never know because it seems that the team didn't take the time to even interview someone else.
I am all about having coaches to promote the "Cardinals way" of doing things. But, especially with so many young players expected to be on the roster in the next couple of years, I believe it is also important to have on the staff experienced mentors who have a record of success in the post season.
Larry Walker, Jim Edmonds and Terry Pendleton are all examples of former Cardinals who might have made good candidates to be the Birds hitting coach.
Ilsley was the pitching coach at Class AAA Memphis, so I suppose the Cardinals figure it would give the team some continuity for the young pitchers it's promoted to the big league roster. But how much of an advantage was if for the Cardinals to have pitching mechanics guru Dave Duncan to turn mediocre hurlers into successful major leaguers?
Former hitting coach Mark McGwire left the Cardinals to take a similar position with the Dodgers. Former bullpen coach Dyar Miller was fired last month by the Cardinals without explanation.