D-Backs Can Bob Melvin

It took about 30 games for the first manager to get axed. The whispers were all around the last few days that Arizona manager Bob Melvin was off the heat seat onto the plastic chair hanging over the volcano. Last night, the Diamondbacks organization made it official, relieving Melvin of his job. Later today they’ll name his replacement, Jon Heyman reports that it will be front office member A.J. Hinch.

You’ll remember Hinch from his playing days during the last decade. Most of Hinch’s career was spent in Oakland, although he later caught (pun intended) on with the Royals, Tigers, and Phillies. The interesting thing is that many figured Hinch was a future General Manager, not so much as a manager. Baseball America even named him as one of the more promising GM candidates just three years ago.

Hinch has a ton of issues to attempt and resolve. The ‘Backs still missing ace Brandon Webb and despite Dan Haren’s best Voltron impression, Hinch’s team is still nine games back of the first place Dodgers. Hinch’s lineup has holes at first base (.603 OPS), short (.666), left field (.524), and center (.521) and at this point it’s just a matter of catching Chris Young, Conor Jackson, and Stephen Drew on the upswing.

There’s only so much Hinch can do. Unless you believe the players quit on Melvin for whatever reason then Hinch will not be the reason things turn around in Arizona unless he speaks in a tongue that awakens bats.

As for the next manager to go, I’m not so sure that Eric Wedge should purchase any new furniture for his Cleveland home, especially as his bullpen continues to implode.

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11 Responses to “D-Backs Can Bob Melvin”

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  1. Rob says:

    So is the title a dig at the media being unable to tell Bob Melvin and Doug Melvin apart of just another example of it?

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    • I wish I were that clever.

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      • Decatur says:

        At first, R.J, I thought you were using “Doug Melvin” as a verb to express your disgust with the Diamondbacks – sort of like saying “the Diamondbacks can go to hell!” – perhaps over their benching of Justin Upton earlier in the season. I know his brother on the Rays getting benched for laziness was a torment of yours (not sure how justified it was in BJ’s case, but I know it Justin’s benching was nowhere close to justified). Any idea what role Upton played in this?

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      • Evan says:

        I think Dave Samson would be a better verb for that.

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  2. BS says:

    I just took a look at Danny Haren’s page, but is he really not throwing his slider anymore?

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  3. joser says:

    Was it as recently as the end of the ’07 season that the media, having just discovered Pythagoras, was crowning Melvin as some kind of genius?

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    • Mr. Heckles says:

      It’s funny how the numbers are only wrong when they disagree with you. If they had finished 11 games worse than expected you know they’d all be crying bad luck.

      “But…but Pythagoras!”

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  4. arch support says:

    Voltron. Awesome.

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  5. Bodhizefa says:

    I, too, thought the Justin Upton treatment was beyond silly, but you certainly can’t argue with the results right now. If only it was so easy to motivate all the rest of the hitters on this team. I know Conor Jackson is pressing bigtime (increase in K’s, decrease in walks, both despite seeing as many pitches as he regularly does and he looks like he’s pressing up there, too). Someone really needs to have a sit-down with Chris Young. He is an absolute guess hitter, and he has no idea how to formulate a good guess. Year after year I watch as he lets the best pitches in an at bat pass him by while he swings at an almost guaranteed out when he finally does take the bat off his shoulders. He and Upton were eerily similar in their approach last year, but now it appears that Upton has found a gameplan at the plate while Young still flails away at awful pitch selection.

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  6. Evan says:

    I’m not really sure what Melvin could have done differently. Mariners fans were generally pretty happy with him (especially in hindsight after McLaren and Hargrove).

    Re: Wedge – It was kind of cruel how the Red Sox commentators were making fun of the Indians’ bullpen during that 12 run inning yesterday. “We’d heard the Indians bullpen was bad but… it can’t be this bad, can it?”

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  7. Coby DuBose says:

    Not sure what Bob Melvin could have done differently? Really?

    How about not consistently putting Justin Upton in a position to fail (batting him 8th for no apparent reason, then moving him around to 46,382 different spots each and every day). How about not playing musical chairs with a 21-year old monster, just so that you can get consistent at-bats from…Eric Byrnes. How about actually learning how to handle a pitching staff?

    How about the ridiculous inability to effectively use splits to make matchup decisions. If you’re going to use stats, good lorn man use them the right way. Did anyone catch Melvin a couple of weeks ago bringing in lefty Scott Schowenweiss to face Mike Cameron? Melvin justified this by saying that Cameron was “hitting righties significantly better than lefties this year”. Sure, Bob, let’s use the flukey LHP/RHP stats of Mike Cameron over 20 games of this season rather than…oh you know, maybe his lifetime numbers against lefties and righties. That was the hapless, hopeless justification of man who did not have a clue what he was doing.

    There are other things, too. The insistence on getting “proven veterans”TM into the game for no good reason (see Clark, Tony). Melvin was just a clown, with no idea how to manage young baseball players. You don’t help Justin Upton develop by making him worry each day over whether Eric Byrnes might be stealing his start, or putting him in the 8-hole when you do play him (while Chris Young flailed away in the 2/3 holes).

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