5:05 pm: General manager Mike Hazen reiterated the organization’s faith in Lovullo, telling Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link) he “still (feels) like Torey is the right person to lead these guys and to right this ship and get us back to where we need to go.”
4:13 pm: The Diamondbacks announced this afternoon they’ve parted ways with hitting coach Darnell Coles and assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske. To replace them, the club has promoted Rick Short, who had been hitting coach with their Triple-A affiliate in Reno, and run production coordinator Drew Hedman. Short and Hedman will serve as co-hitting coaches.
Coles and Hinske were both hired during the 2018-19 offseason. In each of the two-plus seasons since, the D-Backs have run out a below-average offense. Obviously, it’s difficult to tell what extent the blame for that should fall on the coaching staff versus the players, but the organization evidently decided it was time to bring in a pair of new voices.
Given how disastrous this season has been, it’s not hard to see why the club is shaking things up. The Diamondbacks have the league’s worst record at 20-43, and they’re currently amidst a nineteen-game road losing streak, a mark that’s three games shy of an all-time record. The lineup isn’t the only reason for that level of futility, but it hasn’t been a strength either. Diamondbacks hitters have a cumulative .238/.312/.394 slash line, excluding pitchers. The resulting 94 wRC+ places them just twenty-second among the league’s thirty clubs in park-adjusted offense.
Short, who appeared in eleven MLB games as a player with the 2005 Nationals, has spent the past decade in the Arizona organization as a scout and minor league coach. Hedman, who had previously coached at the amateur level, was hired by the D-Backs as a scout in 2018. He was promoted to run production coordinator the following year. David Laurila of FanGraphs examined Hedman’s rapid rise last April.
The firing of Coles and Hinske will only heighten speculation about the future of manager Torey Lovullo. The fifth-year skipper is in the final year of his current contract, and the team’s dreadful performance over the past two seasons has led some fans to suggest Lovullo’s job might be in jeopardy. The front office has continued to stick by him, with CEO Derrick Hall telling reporters last month Lovullo was “not the problem” with the organization (via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic). The team’s tailspin has only intensified since then, however.
Maybe the equipment manager is next.
CEO Derrick Hall telling reporters last month Lovullo was “not the problem” with the organization.
Hall has to go. He is the team’s hood ornament, always trying to put positive spin on tragedy. If you can’t tell the truth, Derrick, or even face up to it, you’ve gotta go. You are a phony.
Fever Pitch Guy
Hazen has proven once again that you can’t rely too heavily on analytics. If anyone should go, it’s him. He inherited a good team after the 2016 season and ran it into the ground within a year.
It starts with coaches when a team isn’t performing. Next it ripples up to the manager. Then it’s the GM and/or President of Baseball Operations.
Dbacks situation as a whole has been beyond overhyped. Hazen is OK but people talked about him like they were going to be a superteam. They have some decent prospects but not nearly enough to make them compete.
Heaven forbid it should be the owner. He’s a black eye of the face oof MLB.
They all need to go, every year the diamondback says last year was an outlier. That has now been 4 years that they have sucked. They will trade people at the trade deadline and in the upcoming off-season.
Firing the hitting coach – a time-honored baseball tradition.
Along with the perfunctory profession of faith in the manager. Any time a FO says, “So and so’s position in this organization has never been more secure than it is now.”, it’s time to start packing.
If they fire Lovullo, he’ll be out of work for, oh, as long as it took me to type this.
Probably true. Though i do imagine Lovullo is on the hot seat managing without a contract and the D’backs terribly underachieving. The Yankees, A’s, Astros, Marlins, Braves, Blue Jays, Reds, Orioles, Rangers, Mets, and Mariners all have Managers with expiring contracts after this season and i wouldn’t expect all (or even many of them) to retain their Managers
They may let him go for PR purposes, but I think he’s pretty highly regarded. And ya, there figures to be some significant turn over this year.
Lovullo and Hazen are pals going back to their Red Sox days. Only way I see Lovullo getting the ax is if Hazen gets it too.
I wouldn’t be surprised if both were let go, thinking about Hazen, he hasn’t done nothing extraordinary to make this team better, oh I forgot Goldshmiedt trade, did it make the dbacks better, nope, your fired too Mark Hazen, Dbacks are a joke, badly run organization lol
Stand by for musical chairs.
Difficult to imagine the A’s letting Bob Melvin walk. He would be scooped up in a nano-second. But yeah, many of the teams you mentioned will likely have new skippers.
I thought the same thing. He just became the all time winningest manager in A’s history, and he gets far more out of a patchwork roster than anyone else could. They’d be insane to let BoMel go.
Snitker is signed through at least 2023 with an option for 2024
Hinske was a beast in MLB Power Pros 2007
What does a run production coordinator do? Why is this a dedicated role?
And conversely, is the an Out Production Coordinator? Seems like there should.
When you lose 19 straight road games someone must be fired.
At this point the Dbacks should fire the players, close up shop for the year, and save on electricity to operate the stadium
Definitely for the best. A/C cost in Phoenix is ridiculous.
Or kidnap the owner.
Hinske was once a bit of an AL East good luck charm playing in three straight World Series’ with three different teams
Darnell Coles was once traded for Jim Morrison. His only job was to Light my Fire and apparently he couldn’t do that
Jim Morrison, a great American poet. Right up there with Bob Dylan. He faked his own death back in 1971 and is still alive today.
Time to clean house
Hinske could hit. Could he coach? Who cares, doesn’t really matter (which is why the article is spot on saying “new voices”).
His career OPS+ of 99 doesn’t really support that…
Now if only the Yankees would follow suit. And, get rid of Boone and Cashman.
I find it pretty hilarious when fans of teams that perennially make the playoffs complain about management. Try being a fan of a perennially mediocre team.
Boone hasn’t been an improvement over Girardi. If he was you’d have a point – a first for you.
Look at the division. The Diamondback players cannot stack up. They were sellers when they traded Goldschmidt. Who have they acquired since then? Lovullo is not close to being the reason for this season’s demise. He cannot write out names like Betts, Crawford, Tatis, and Machado on his lineup card. They are a very good AAA team.
The lack of results from the 2010-16 drafts plus the questionable trades, free agent signings of that period put this team in this deep hole, they have not drafted a legitimate superstar in the 1st round who changes a franchise, the scars from the Towers, Stewart regumes continue to be felt horribly
redhaze1, Interesting point re Goldschmidt. Had they continued to sell instead of going halfway, they’d probably be better off today. Half-and-half tends to not work. Pittsburgh is another example. In November of 2017, Huntington announced to fans that they were going full rebuild. But when they around .500 the next July, he made that preposterous trade with Tampa Bay in a questionable attempt to chase the second wildcard. They then went back to rebuilding, only to hang onto a closer a rebuilding team doesn’t need in Vasquez at the next season’s deadline. By comparison, Toronto made some painful decisions to kick off their rebuild, including eating some money on contracts of guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin. But today, they’re much better off for doing so.
The only way a halfway approach works is if the owners have deep pockets, ala the Red Sox. The Cubs are also trying to walk that fine line and while they should have lots of money, Tom Ricketts is crying poor over those “biblical” losses haha.
Wait…Crawford? Which one ranks among the game’s best players?
Yep it is
Tory isn’t the problem. Lack of talent is. They tried to walk the lane between rebuild and not. It didn’t work. Time to move on and start it back in rebuild mode
Too much emphasis on hitting coaches these days. If you want better hitting, get better hitters. It’s like what MLB did with juicing the ball in an attempt to mask the strikeout problem. The original problem still exists at the end of the day (with the strikeouts, it’s even worse).
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
Wonder when the Braves part ways with Snitker and go outside the “Braves way” nonsense when hiring.
Amazing how so many mediocre to lousy hitters/pitchers become hitting and pitching coaches, no offense to the people personally, but it’s like.. these guys couldn’t hit/pitch themselves, how are they supposed to teach it to young kids learning how to?
I understand guys who have made 10’s of millions won’t want to come back and work for chump change as a coach, but there still are the Dennis martinez’s, richie gedman’s of the world working the grind in the MiLB system as a small example of guys who can teach, Jason varitek on a MLB bench.. I just never saw how a Dick Pole, who was pitching coach for YEARS with the Cubs, john Farrell etc.. could tell a guy much of anything.
I think that makes sense. They have enough knowledge and experience to know the part and have been in those situations themselves. Often the fringe guys have had to learn everything they could just to make it as far as they did. Plus, coaching allows them to stay around a game and be successful in their own way that maybe they couldn’t as a player. Elite players have special ability and may struggle understanding with lesser talent and to communicate to those players who can’t perform as they do.
All that being said, if the desire is the same to coach, I’d want Barry Bonds as my hitting coach over Jeff Mathis.
Guys who made it to the Major Leagues aren’t fringe guys. They are people who got to the highest level of their profession. Fringe guys are people like us, the ones who sit home in front of the TV thinking we know how to run, manage, or coach a Major League team. They don’t tell us how to run to the fridge between innings. Why should we tell them how to run and coach their teams?
Cey Hey: Man, you are spot on with that comment.
Agree mils. Hitting at the MLB level well, like pitching isn’t the same as doing that in the minors, or college. If it was? Wouldn’t have just a handful of players performing at an elite level and guys (example) like Garin and Gavin ceccini, who tore up the minors a few years back, yet couldn’t buy hits at the MLB level. Hitting/pitching at the highest level is entirely different, why believe getting coaches from those who were good, plus know how to share that knowledge should be sought by teams.
If everyone would look at how a coaching staff was made, would see most coaches were proven MLB caliber players who had legit careers and not career miLB guys, or fringe MLB players which is what staff’s have become.
There are 23 managers in the Hall of Fame. Here’s a link to the list. I won’t do the work for you. Tell us which of the 23 had legit careers as a Major League player.
John McGraw & Joe Torre were exceptional players… but good point. Conversely, Ted Williams was not a good manager.
I mostly disagree that somehow staffs have suddenly become fringe players. I will grant that there are more players than ever to fill expansion. However, I think there is a bit of a recency bias. The end of staffs, starting and relief, were always fringey. We might see more of the end of staffs due to pitch counts, but the quality of the back end is similar.
Don’t forget the ballpark…Diamondbacks regularly complain they need a new ballpark.
There’s nothing wrong with the ballpark. Chase Field is 23 years old. The problem is the team and county squabbling over who is supposed to pick up the maintenance bill
I am an Oakland A’s fan…no team should get a new ballpark before the A’s and Rays. MLB kicked in huge amounts of money for the Mets and Yankees to get their new ballparks.
And last week the commissioners office told the A’s to see if they can find another city to play in. If not then maybe they’ll discuss the idea of a new park. Can you imagine MLB saying that to practically any other organization?
Yes. The threat to move has been a regular feature of stadium negotiations for decades. The MLB is just playing along.
Watching their 2nd baseman just give up on that fly ball in yesterday’s game spoke volumes about why they are where they are from an outside perspective…
That’s ridiculous. It was a tough sky yesterday with the sun and wind. Even outfielders were having trouble. Vargas didn’t give up on the ball he lost it in the sun and the 1B didn’t cover. There are a few plays like that every year at the Coliseum.
Liar managers never win because they have two faces and you never know which one is the real one. Dback will be better when they change the Manager
Dude a manager in 2021 is basically a politician. 2 faces is a job requirement because you have different people to answer to. If the manager cared too much about the players he would get fired because he works for the owner and GM. There is a fine line. And baseball doesn’t have a clue about it big business 101.
Maybe 5,0280 feet above sea-level is not the place to play baseball. And Las Vegas is near as bad… the front gate at Las Vegas Ballpark is 3,041 feet.
Uh, the D-backs are not based in Denver. Were you meaning to comment on the Trevor Story post?
Diamondbacks park is 1,059 feet above sea level. That is only 120 feet above Atlanta. Colorado is way beyond AZ by 4,000+ feet. My point was, 5,280 feet makes signing free agent starters damn hard to do. The whole game is played differently when in CO.
And that has what to do with a post about Diamondbacks coaches?
5,0280 feet above sea-level is bigly! Also Vegas is only 2000 feet above sea level.
Downtown Los Vegas is 2,000, but the Las Vegas Ballpark building site is at 3,041.ft. Not sure if this would be the ballpark used if Oakland moves there.
I hope teams begin an annual tradition of adding Hinske to their coaching staff as a playoff good luck charm.
Bill Smith 2
Derrick Hall is the Crane Kenney of the Dbacks. Hall should be counting beans in the corner and have zero involvement in baseball ops. Force Ken Kendrick to sell. Institute a salary floor.