By Rob Rains

The Cardinals announced the final two members of their coaching staff for next season on Monday, naming former Memphis manager Stubby Clapp as the first base coach and bringing Jeff Albert back to the organization to serve as hitting coach.

Albert, who turns 38 on Wednesday, was the assistant hitting coach for the Astros last season. He previously worked as a hitting coach in the Cardinals’ minor-league system from 2008 to 2912, when he moved to the Astros organization.

Albert had been hired by Jeff Luhnow when Luhnow was with the Cardinals and worked in 2008 in Batavia, N.Y., and spent the 2009-2012 seasons as the hitting coach for Class A Palm Beach, where one of the hitters he worked with was Matt Carpenter.

“Jeff will be a good addition to our organization,” said Mark DeJohn, who was the Batavia manager in 2008 and is now the Cardinals’ minor-league field coordinator. “I think he’s going to help us in a lot of different ways. He is very good at what he does.

“He’s going to help bridge the gap between analytics and the field.”

When DeJohn first interviewed Albert more than a decade ago, the only question he really wanted answered was whether Albert could throw batting practice.

“When I got to know him I found out he was a fun guy and really enthusiastic,” DeJohn said. “It’s good to have him back.”

Albert never played for the Cardinals. He played college baseball at Butler University and then spent a brief time playing Independent baseball before he was hired as a coach by the Cardinals.

Clapp had reportedly been a candidate for the open managing job with the Texas Rangers. John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, had said a couple of weeks ago he expected Clapp would be added to the team’s major-league staff if he did not take another position.

Clapp, 45, spent the last two years as the manager at Triple A Memphis, leading the team to back-to-back Pacific Coast League championships.

Clapp played 23 games for the Cardinals in 2001 during his eight years playing in the organization. He also was a minor-league coach in the Astros and Blue Jays organizations before being hired by the Cardinals prior to the 2017 season.

The Cardinals must now fill the Triple A managing position, and there have not been any reports about who is under consideration for the position, or if it will be filled from within or outside the organization.

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