3 Managers Who Could Be On The Hot Seat

Even though it’s only April, teams could be looking to replace the guy in charge. Both Joe Girardi and Joe Maddon were let go in early June. Then the Philadelphia Phillies went on to the World Series after replacing Girardi, whereas the Los Angeles Angels continued to falter and missed the postseason for a league leading eighth consecutive year. Charlie Montoyo and Chris Woodward were also relieved of their managerial duties later in the season. As an interesting note of the four managers let go during the season, three signed deals to remain as managers of their teams. Now in 2023, here are three managers whose seats are getting hot.

3 Managers Who Could Be In The Hotseat

3. Oliver Marmol (St. Louis Cardinals)

Oliver Marmol led his team to the playoffs in his first year as the St. Louis Cardinals Manager, with a record of 93-69. They got eliminated by the Phillies in the Wild Card round and now are in last place in the National League Central with a record of 17-25.

There are several reasons why the Cardinals are struggling. The pitching could have been more consistent. They removed Wilson Contreras as the primary catcher. Since then, they have been moving in the right direction as they swept the Red Sox. The question remains whether the rotation can flip the switch and be constant for the long haul. Simply placing someone who is a better pitch caller might have been the answer. It currently seems to be working in the short term.

The other issue is the outfield and Nolan Arenado. He has gotten off to a slow start to the season. Arenado is in the midst of a power issue, he only has seven home runs to this point in the year. At this pace, he’d be under the 30-homerun threshold he has constantly been at for most of his career.  Cardinals outfielders have also had some struggles. They are losing Tyler O’Neill to the IL, and Dylan Carlson left Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury. Not a position the Cardinals want to be in with already thin depth. Not all of the struggle can be placed on the manager’s shoulders, but in prior years organizations look to spark their team by firing the manager. Marmol could be in that spot.

2. Pedro Grifol (White Sox)

Pedro Grifol is the unfortunate manager for the underperforming Chicago White Sox, with a record of 14-28 in the weakest division in baseball. Southside fans have had a rough go of it in the 2023 season. Even callers into local radio shows have been showing their dismay. Fans have been placing blame on the team’s front office, from Jerry Rendorf to Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn. Who have made different choices regarding how the team has been structured over the past few seasons.

This past offseason, the White Sox signed Andrew Benintendi to the most lucrative contract in team history. What was the contract worth? Five years, $75M, the largest contract in the organization’s history. Considering who has played for the White Sox over the years, it’s interesting how Benintendi landed this deal. With how he played last year, it makes sense for him to get a deal in that range, but it doesn’t look great with how the team is performing, as well as Benintendi’s lackluster play so far. Considering they let Jose Abreu walk as a free agent and sign with the Houston Astros.

Pitching woes have peaked their ugly head as well. The critical guys in the rotation haven’t done well. All but one of the starters have an ERA under four. This doesn’t bow well for a team that is already having problems on the offensive side of the ball. A team ERA of 5.50 is not going to get it done.

Grifo, similar to Maramol, doesn’t necessarily deserve all of the blame for the team’s play so far. Bad signings and injuries made by a general manager shouldn’t fall on their shoulders.

1. Phil Nevin (Los Angeles Angels)

A job and a position that many former and newer managers would love to get a chance to coach the Angels. After Joe Maddon was let go in June of 2022, Phil Nevin was named interim manager. In the off-season that saw the Angels owner, to the joy of many Angels fans, was looking to sell the team. Since that was the case, Nevin got a one-year deal to be a bridge manager until the new owner got to get his staff into the organization. However, in January, Arte changed his mind and will remain the owner of the team until further notice. 

In the case of Nevin, the team hasn’t played great baseball. When Nevin took over, the team’s record was 46-60 overall the team went 73-89, finishing 3rd in the division. In 2023, the team is 22-20, losing five out of six games last week. The Angels are in the middle of this year’s most critical season with Shohei Ohtani’s impending free agency.

The most glaring issue is how Nevin talks and handles the pitching side of things. He talks about starters going deeper into ball games in press conferences and releases. This is then followed up by the starter struggling, and instead of letting the starters figure it out on multiple occasions, he has gone to the bullpen. On top of the rotations woes, the bullpen could have been more consistent.

On the plus side, players like having Phil around and respect him. It’s unknown whether or not Arte will get impatient again and let Nevin go to give someone else a shot to correct the course. In the case of the Angels, something has to give.  

Main Image: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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