The Miami Marlins have hired a new manager. Skip Schumaker has agreed to become the new skipper in Miami. He will be the 16th manager in Marlins’ history.
Schumaker replaces Don Mattingly, who was in Miami for seven years. Mattingly and the Marlins agreed before the end of the season that he would not come back to manage the team in 2023.
Skip Schumaker The Player:
Skip Schumaker was a 5th-round pick in the 2001 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He made his big league debut with St. Louis in 2005. Altogether, Schumaker played for the Cardinals for eight years before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after 2012.
He would play for the Dodgers in 2013, and then signed a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds prior to 2014. Schumaker appeared in his last big league game in 2015.
Overall, Schumaker played 11 years in the big leagues, appearing in 1,149 games, and hit .278/.337/.364. He received two World Series rings during his playing career in St. Louis.
Skip Schumaker The Coach:
In his post-playing days, Schumaker has been a front-office member and coach. He worked for the San Diego Padres from 2016 to 2021. He was originally hired as an assistant to baseball operations in San Diego and then became their first base coach prior to the start of 2018. He was named associate manager of the Padres in 2020.
After 2021, Schumaker left the Padres to become the bench coach of the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2022 season.
On To Miami:
Schumaker has made a quick climb through the Major League coaching ranks, and this will be his first time managing a big league club. How this affects the Marlins and their ability to win games on the field has obviously yet to be seen, but Schumaker has been around winning baseball teams throughout his career. Knowing what it takes to win at the big league level should certainly help Schumaker in Miami.
He will also have to hire the right coaching staff, and it will be interesting to see who he surrounds himself with in the dugout.
As for the players on the field, Miami does have some good pieces in place for Schumaker. Sandy Alcantara, who is likely to be a finalist for the N.L. Cy Young Award, leads the rotation, which was Miami’s strength in 2022. Their rotation was 8th in MLB in ERA, 3.70, and innings pitched, 881.2.
While they had a strong starting staff, Miami’s weaknesses were their bullpen and offense. Marlins’ relievers threw 555.2 innings in 2022, with a 4.13 ERA, which was 22nd in the majors. The offense scored just 3.62 runs per game, which was 28th in baseball. As a team, they hit .230/.294/.363.
The one bright spot for Miami offensively was infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr., who was in the midst of a breakout year before being put on the injured list in June. He would not play again in 2022. The 24-year-old was hitting .254/.325/.535 with 14 home runs, 10 doubles, and a 139 OPS+ before his injury.
Miami finished the season 69-93, which was 4th in the N.L. East. How they approach this offseason will tell us a lot about how they feel about their current group of big leaguers. Will they decide to add to their roster, or make some moves to signal somewhat of a rebuild?
Whether or not the front office decides to spend some money on the offense and bullpen this offseason will be interesting. They usually aren’t big spenders, but there will certainly be some good players on the free-agent market this winter. They did spend some money last offseason by signing Jorge Soler and Avisail Garcia, but both players had disappointing seasons in 2022.
Either way, the Marlins’ future under Skip Schumaker is one to keep an eye on. They have some intriguing players on their roster, and while their farm system isn’t busting at the seams with talent, they do have some interesting prospects. If the front office can make some moves to improve the bullpen and offense for 2023, Miami could be a much better ball club.
Like most managers, Schumaker’s success is going to rely on him creating a positive clubhouse environment and winning games with what roster the front office gives him.
The first-time manager has a lot of work to do, as the Marlins haven’t made the postseason in a 162-game season since they won the World Series in 2003.
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