The Miami Marlins are in trouble, sitting in last place in the National League East already eight and a half games out with a dismal record of 18-27.
To try and stop the bleeding, they fired manager Mike Redmond after 38 games this season, and replaced him with general manager Dave Jennings. Redmond’s termination did not come as a surprise; the team was a disappointing 16-22 when Redmond was let go last week.
This was the second manager firing of 2015, as the Milwaukee Brewers had handed Ron Renocke his pink slip at the beginning of the month. With Memorial Day now past – just over a quarter of the baseball season behind us - it seems like a good time to check in on other managers who might also be facing the axe.
John Gibbons has the Toronto Blue Jays in last place in the American League East with a record of 20-26, and just recently went through a five game losing streak.
But despite all that, the Blue Jays sit just four and a half games back of the first place Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays lead the league in runs scored by a wide margin with 236 runs, which is surprising considering they have gotten little production from star outfielder Jose Bautista, who is currently hitting for a .215 batting average, but sit next to last in team ERA with a 4.61 earned run average.
Due to a weak division, the Blue Jays were at the very least expected to contend for a wild card spot. With star shortstop Jose Reyes set to return from a hamstring injury very soon, if things don’t improve shortly after Reyes arrival, Gibbons could be fired.
Another manager facing the firing squad is San Diego Padres manager Bud Black. After a much heralded off-season in which they acquired three new starting outfielders in Justin Upton, Wil Meyers, and Matt Kemp, a new catcher in Derek Norris, a front line starting pitcher in James Shields, and a top of the line closer in Craig Kimbrel, the Padres are three games below .500 at 21-24 and sit in fourth place in the NL West.
The offense has been OK this year, sitting fourth in the NL, 12th in all of baseball, with 193 runs scored. The pitching however has been San Diego’s Achilles’ heel.
The Padres pitching staff is 11th in the National League and 23rd in the MLB with an ERA of 4.19. Black is in his eighth season as Padres manager, but if the team shows no improvement, the veteran manager might take the hit before the All-Star break.
Cincinnati Reds' Bryan Price is another manager that could be out of a job soon. In his season plus time as the Reds manager the team has not had a winning record.
Sitting at 18-25, nine and a half games out of first place, and finishing with a record of 76-86 last year, Price is a marked mab. To add more fuel to the fire, Price was ejected from Saturday’s game against state rivals Cleveland Indians before it even started.
Arguing with the ump while exchanging lineup cards? Really?
Price was already on thin ice after his explicit tirade against reporters last month. With stars like first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Brandon Phillips, ace pitcher Johnny Cueto and closer Aroldis Chapman each performing up to their high levels, it is unclear why this team is not performing better.
The Reds are near the bottom in all of baseball in both runs scored and in ERA. The onus is on Price to get better performances out of secondary players or face the consequences.
The Seattle Mariners, led by skipper Lloyd McClendon, sit at 20-23, third place in AL West, eight games behind the surprising first place Houston Astros.
The M’s are getting good production from their big offseason acquisition, designated hitter Nelson Cruz (who looks to be an early MVP candidate) and perennial Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez.
However, last year’s big signing, second baseman Robinson Cano, has gotten off to a slow start in 2015. The $240 million man is hitting just .247 with one home run in 43 games so far. The pitching staff outside of Hernandez has been mediocre in 2015 while the offense ranks next to last in runs scored in the American League.
The 2014 squad won 87 games and missed a wild card spot by just one game. If this season’s team can’t get on track to replicate that success, McClendon will be gone.
With the worst record in baseball many believe that Oakland Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin could get fired soon. At 16-30 and 13 ½ games out of first place, things are quickly spiraling out of control.
The bullpen, which was a big strength for the A’s last year, has been the exact opposite in 2015. The relief corp has the most losses by a bullpen this year with 12 and the second highest bullpen ERA in baseball, behind the Reds.
An ominous sign for Melvin was the hiring of former Texas Rangers’ manager, and former Oakland A’s coach, Ron Washington, as a special instructor. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports insists there is little chance A’s GM Billy Beane fires Melvin. But Melvin had better beware and hope his bullpen stabilizes.
The Colorado Rockies are another team in big trouble and have been for a while. But GM Jeff Bridrich recently said manager Walt Weiss’ job is safe. Now in his third season as manager, Weiss’ record at the helm is an abysmal 157-209.
At nearly five runs a game, the Rockies own the worst ERA in baseball by a wide margin. The offense hasn’t been bad, but star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has had a rough May hiting just .235 in 19 games this month. The oft-injured player appears to still be recovering from offseason hip surgery.
As the season progresses clubs can takeaway one lesson from the Marlins decision to fire their manager, someone new at the helm isn’t always better. Under new manager Dave Jennings, Miami lost his first five games before taking the next two from the Baltimore Orioles.