Cardinals Name Ward Assistant Hitting Coach, Formalize Schumaker’s Return

photo: Turner Ward (Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)

As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals have two new coaches for 2022. However, until a Monday announcement, the identity only one of them was known.

The club formalized the choice of former Cardinals player and most recently San Diego Padres Associate Manager Skip Schumaker as bench coach. They also made a new announcement, that of Turner Ward as the new assistant hitting coach, replacing Jobel Jimenez, who left the organization.

Ward, 56, has a number of Cardinals connections. He managed in the minor leagues in the Pirates and Diamondbacks systems for four seasons and joined his first MLB staff as assistant hitting coach with Arizona (and Paul Goldschmidt) in 2013. Ward stepped up to become the Dbacks’ hitting coach in 2014-2015 (under Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa) and shifted to the Dodgers in the same role starting in 2016 under then new manager Dave Roberts.

Turner Ward (USA TODAY Sports)

Ward moved to the Reds as their hitting coach for 2019 under manager and former Cardinals bench coach David Bell. After a difficult year for the Cincinnati offense, Ward was let go following the season.

Ward’s assistant hitting coach with the Reds was another former Cardinals staffer, Donnie Ecker, who was recently named bench coach and offensive coordinator of the Texas Rangers.

Ward previously played parts of 12 years as a big league outfielder with six clubs and has rings from the Toronto Blue Jays’ World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

With St. Louis, Ward will be the assistant hitting coach under Jeff Albert. Albert and the other 2021 coaches noted in the above announcement return to the same positions for 2022. Maddux is pitching coach with Eversgerd as his assistant. Base coaches are Clapp (first) and Warner (third). McGee is in charge of baserunning and outfield play.

Also returning for 2022 are Pitching Strategist Dusty Blake (2nd season), Run Production Coach Patrick Elkins (3rd season), Bullpen Catcher/Catching Instructor Jamie Pogue and Bullpen Catcher Kleininger Teran.

What is next?

Coaching changes are ahead on the player development side of the house as well. Recently, Cardinals minor league hitting coordinator Russ Steinhorn advertised  open minor league hitting coach positions in the organization and encouraged applicants to come forward.

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