Cards promote Mabry to hitting coach, succeeding McGwire

The St. Louis Cardinals announced two promotions to their coaching staff on Monday, most notably John Mabry's ascension to the role of hitting coach to replace Mark McGwire.

Mabry spent last season as assistant hitting coach to McGwire, the embattled slugger who was welcomed back to baseball by the Cards upon his hiring following the 2009 season.

After three seasons in that role, McGwire informed St. Louis he will not return, and the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that he is expected to be named to the same post with the Dodgers.

In addition, the Cards promoted Blaise Ilsley to bullpen coach after a five- year stint as pitching coach for the club's Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

St. Louis also extended offers to pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, bench coach Mike Aldrete, third base coach Jose Oquendo and first base coach Chris Maloney to return to their same posts in 2013.

"The contributions made by our coaches has helped to assure a winning culture throughout the Cardinals organization," noted Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. "We are fortunate to be in a position to have such talented coaches within our organization who are at-the-ready when opportunities at the big league level arise."