(Busch Stadium) Three hundred and sixty five days can go by fast, especially if you’re the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Just ask Mike Shildt, who was focused on preparing for today’s series finale against Arizona and was surprised to learn it had been a year since he took over the helm of the team.
“I wasn’t aware of that, quite honestly, I’m just grateful for every day,” Shildt said.
Under his guidance, the Cardinals have compiled a record of 86-73.
“Just grateful for the last opportunity not only for this past year, but the previous fifteen or so in the organization. Just really take it day by day for continual improvement to move this organization forward and get us to where we want to go. I’ve always had that mindset, it just happens to be the manager’s job at the big league level right now. Very grateful and just taking every day to get us better.”
With the organization since 2004, Shildt managed for eight seasons in the Cardinals farm system where his clubs won league championships in 2010 and 2011 with Johnson City of the rookie Appalachian League and in 2012 with Springfield of the Texas League (AA). He served on the Major League staff for two seasons before taking over as the interim and then full-time manager.
Currently at .500, Shildt acknowledges there is still work to be done. However, he also has accomplished some of his immediate objectives since becoming the manager.
“Absolutely,” Shildt said. “Some of the big blocks that we wanted to improve upon that were clear to me and I think us, meaning our fan base and everybody, is being able to clean up our defense, clean up some of our base running stuff, get the bullpen in a little more consistent shape. I feel like those blocks have been, systems are in place for that to be in good shape. Clearly, we’ve got to do some other things more consistently better to be able to be in a position where we expect.”
The Cardinals have committed the third fewest errors in MLB (41) this season and lead baseball with 97 double plays.
The team also ranks sixth with 59 stolen bases, which has them on pace to rank in the top 10 of that category for the first time since 2004 (111-5th).
The St. Louis bullpen has the fourth best save percentage (74%) in 89 save situations this season and are third (25%) in the amount of inherited runners that have been allowed to score.