The St. Louis Cardinals have hired Oliver Marmol as the team's next manager, the club announced Monday. Marmol, 35, becomes the youngest manager in MLB and takes over after the club surprisingly fired Mike Shildt earlier this month. Marmol is also the youngest Cardinals manager since Marty Marion, who managed the 1951 team at age 34.
Marmol served last season as the Cardinals' bench coach under Shildt and has been a part of the team's MLB staff since 2017. He's a former Cardinals draftee and minor leaguer who also served as a hitting coach in the minors. Marmol also boasts managerial experience at the minor-league level, as he guided Johnson City and Palm Beach within the Cardinals' system. Across five seasons as a Cardinals minor-league manager, Marmol compiled a record of 268-225 (.544) with four postseason appearances.
"We are extremely pleased to name Oliver 'Oli' Marmol as our new manager," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "Oli is a career member of the Cardinals organization, and someone who has built excellent working relationships with our players, coaches and staff members at all levels. We believe that he possesses strong managerial skills that will allow for the continued success of our team."
That the Cardinals had a managerial vacancy has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. Shildt was fresh off a 92-win campaign and postseason berth when he was let go. Also, Schildt's win percentage of .559 across three seasons is the highest figure for a Cardinals manager since Johnny Keane's .560 in the early 1960s.
Given Marmol's long history in the organization -- long by the standards of 35-year-olds, at least -- there's no doubt a deep mutual familiarity. Given that Shildt's ouster was owing to, in the words of president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, a "philosophical difference" with the front office, team brass surely expects no such friction with Marmol. Marmol's hiring also suggests he's comfortable embracing an analytically driven approach to his managerial duties and is likewise on board with the data-driven methods of hitting coach Jeff Albert.
Expectations in 2022 will be high for both Marmol and the front office. The Cardinals return a core of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Jack Flaherty and breakout slugger Tyler O'Neill, among others. Also, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina -- each of whom is older than Marmol -- are back for what figures to be a final season.
Marmol becomes the franchise's 37th manager since 1900 and 51st overall.