When the St. Louis Cardinals opted to keep Oli Marmol for the 2024 season, they did so with the understanding he’d be on the hot seat should the organization fail to meet expectations for the second straight year. The same can likely be said about John Mozeliak, who has constructed what he hopes will be a contender in the NL Central.

Mozeliak stood true to his word, adding three starting pitchers this winter in Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson. The rotation looks better on paper, as does the bullpen thanks to the additions of Keynan Middleton, Andrew Kittredge and more.

Oliver Marmol takes over as St. Louis Cardinals manager

Point being, the Cardinals should be better in 2024. If not, there simply has to be a fall guy, if not two, and Marmol would be the first to go. But where would the Cardinals turn if Marmol is shown the door?

Surprising former Cardinals player may have best shot at replacing Oli  Marmol

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Descalso was hired as the team’s bench coach in 2024. While he doesn’t have much coaching experience at the MLB level, Descalso has quickly become on the most trusted members of the Cards staff. If he continues to prove himself this coming season, he could at the very worst be an interim target if St. Louis struggles early.

Oli Marmol will manage Cardinals in 2024, but John Mozeliak says other  changes are coming - The Athletic

Descalso is lacking in experience, but frankly so was Marmol when the Cardinals hired him. If St. Louis is looking for another player-friendly manager to replace Marmol come season’s end, they may have the perfect candidate in-house.