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Cardinals hire Joe McEwing as their new bench coach

by Joe Binder

Another former White Sox coach has found a new opportunity for the 2023 season.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Thursday that they have hired Joe McEwing as their bench coach. The addition comes after Matt Holliday resigned from the position. 

This move is a homecoming of sorts for McEwing. Originally selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 28th round of the 1992 First-Year Player Draft, McEwing made his Major League debut with the team in 1998 and played two seasons before a Spring Training trade in 2000 sent him to the New York Mets for pitcher Jesse Orosco.  He placed fifth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1999 with the Cardinals.

The 50-year-old has been in the White Sox organization for the past 16 seasons and served as the third base coach for seven of them (2012-16, 2021-22). Under former manager Rick Renteria, McEwing was the team’s bench coach during the 2017-20 seasons and managed on several occasions in Renteria’s absence. During his 11 games as manager, he went 6-5.

McEwing also spent time as a coach within the White Sox’s minor-league system and was praised for playing an instrumental part in Tim Anderson’s development. As of late, however, McEwing’s base-running sends at third base have been aggressive in a bad way, leading to the fanbase growing tired of his antics and openly calling for change.

Following the hire of Pedro Grifol, it was revealed that McEwing would not be returning to the organization. Instead, Eddie Rodríguez was named as the team’s new third base coach after spending three seasons (2020–22) as Kansas City’s minor-league field coordinator. Among his 40 years of professional coaching experience, Rodríguez has served as the Royals’ third base coach (2011–13), Seattle’s first base coach (2008), Frank Robinson’s bench coach in Montreal (2004), and Washington (2005–06), Arizona’s third base (2002–03) and first base coach (2001) and Toronto’s third base coach (1998).

As for Holliday, the now 42-year-old was hired by the Cardinals as the bench coach on November 6, 2022, after serving previously as the volunteer coach for Oklahoma State University.

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Featured Photo: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

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