For the first time in seven years, the Marlins are in need of a new major league manager following Don Mattingly’s departure. Fish Stripes will dedicate articles to each of the candidates who interview for the position.
No, Jared Michael Schumaker did not come up with the nickname “Skip” to give himself an edge in this managerial search—he’s been using it for at least a couple decades.
Schumaker played 11 MLB seasons (2005-2015) as an outfielder/second baseman, most notably for the Cardinals with whom he won two World Series titles (contributed to the 2011 postseason run, but not 2006). Although he didn’t fill up the box score with extra-base hits or stolen bases, he batted over .300 in a pair of qualified seasons. Coincidentally, he put up better offensive numbers against the Marlins than any other National League opponent (.331/.406/.397 in 138 PA). His career production was slightly above replacement level (0.9 fWAR/1.5 rWAR).
Released by the Padres during 2016 spring training, Schumaker transitioned into his post-playing career with the organization as an assistant to baseball operations and player development. He served as San Diego’s first base coach from 2018-2019 and associate manager from 2020-2021.
Schumaker went back to St. Louis this past season when he was hired as the bench coach to Oliver Marmol. He received consideration during their managerial search before losing out to Marmol.
Prior to working any regular season games together, Marmol had high praise for Schumaker (via Katie Woo, The Athletic):
“He’s the absolute perfect fit. He brings a high level of credibility, just from playing in the organization and playing in the big leagues for a long time. He’s a teacher, he understands and appreciates the fundamentals of the game, which we value here. The guy is super detailed, very organized, which in that role you have to be.”
Nolan Arenado told Woo that there’s value in Schumaker’s range of experiences: “he was a starter, he was a role player and he knows every single role very well.”
Schumaker previously interviewed with the Mets and Red Sox, who went on to hire Luis Rojas and Alex Cora, respectively.
“Looking back on it...I’m lucky I didn’t get the Mets position because I wasn’t ready,” Schumaker told Ben Fadden on Talking Friars in 2021. “It probably wouldn’t have went well.”
According to Craig Mish of SportsGrid, Schumaker, Rojas, Matt Quatraro and Joe Espada are all still in the running to be Miami’s next skipper.
Schumaker’s family makes their offseason home in southern California.
Why would the Marlins want Skip Schumaker?
Turning 43 in February, Schumaker is among the youngest candidates to be involved at any stage of the Marlins’ vetting process. Going younger lends itself to more years of continuity if the manager is successful.
More importantly, that may make it easier for Schumaker to relate to his players. He played during the Statcast era! He actively uses Twitter! He brings a unique perspective to the position.
Why would Skip Schumaker want the Marlins job?
Deep down, Schumaker probably dreams of managing the Cardinals or Padres, but neither club projects to have a vacancy in the near future. In the meantime, this is his shot to hold greater influence over a team than he ever has before.
Would Skip Schumaker be a good hire for the Marlins?
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Not sure/no opinion