Quick Hits: Managers, Nationals, Angels

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com lists the ten MLB managers who are or may soon be on the hot seat this year. His top three to watch are the Phillies' Charlie Manuel, the Twins' Ron Gardenhire, and Clint Hurdle of the Pirates. The list also includes high-profile skippers like the Dodgers' Don Mattingly, the Angels' Mike Scioscia, and the Yankees' Joe Girardi. Elsewhere around baseball:

  • The Nationals attempted to acquire Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks before landing Denard Span from the Twins over the offseason, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com (via Twitter). The club was previously known to have been interested in Justin's older brother, B.J. Upton, to fill the club's center field vacancy. Presumably, Bryce Harper would have stayed in center had the younger Upton gone to the Nats.
  • While the Nationals are off to a solid start, the club has been let down at times by its supposedly improved bullpen, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Instead of replacing set-up man Sean Burnett with a lefty specialist, GM Mike Rizzo added to the top of the bullpen by signing the premier relief pitcher available, closer Rafael Soriano. Yet Soriano has scuffled at times, and the bullpen has collectively sported a 6.34 ERA that is the worst in baseball. Last night, the pen coughed up a lead in a loss to the Nats' most worrisome NL East competitor, the Braves.
  • Another team that came into 2013 with high expectations, of course, was the Angels. Yahoo's Tim Brown wonders what owner Arte Moreno is thinking as the team has struggled out of the gates again. Brown says that, after making yet more big salary investments this offseason, the competitive Moreno must surely be wondering whether there is anything he can do to get the club going, such as replacing the long-tenured Scioscia.

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