JUPITER, FL. (KMOV.com) -- Jose Oquendo, the Cardinals’ infield instructor and high-energy third base coach, will not be with the team to begin the season.
The former player and longtime coach underwent a pair of surgeries on his knee over the winter and in early spring, and has been unable to recuperate fully.
Oquendo has traveled primarily by golf cart around the complex this spring, and the hope he would be off crutches by Opening Day was extinguished Sunday when the team announced he would take a medical leave of absence “for the foreseeable future.”
In his stead Chris Maloney, who normally coaches first base, will move to Oquendo’s post at third. Assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller will coach first.
The Cardinals called upon Derrick May to take over Mueller’s duties as assistant hitting coach. May is the St. Louis’ minor league hitting coordinator.
Oquendo, 52, has been on the coaching staff since 1999.