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.