Hot Seat

Hot Seat Candidates Entering The 2023 MLB Season

Every year the manager carousel goes round and round, there is always a hot seat and 2022 was no different. There were even four managers fired in-season: Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon, Charlie Montoyo, and Chris Woodward. Sometimes, teams make the big move to move on and change their voice. With Opening Day almost here, let’s look at who fits the bill and who could find themselves coaching elsewhere.

MLB Managers on the Hot Seat Entering 2023

Aaron Boone (427-281), New York Yankees

Each off-season, the same feeling and thoughts come out regarding Aaron Boone and his job security. As the Yankees skipper, he has provided tons of regular-season success. But, the World Series appearances and Championships have eluded him and the Bronx Bombers. A team with so much talent, young and veteran, and such a high payroll, expects to win and that has not happened.

The Boone-led Yankees can’t get over the hump. The Astros always seem to be in the way and the Yankees just can’t get past them. As seen in 2022, the Yankees were swept by the Astros and in 2019 they lost the ALCS series (4-2). The Yankees have also had long periods of mediocre play and stretches of bad leadership.

In 2022, the Yankees started the year 44-16 and ended the year short of the century mark in wins. This all stems from the manager, like it or not the manager gets the criticism, and being in New York that is especially the case. With the Yankees poised to be a threat to win the AL Pennant again this year, if they do not produce that kind of success, the Yankees could be in-line to make a move to find someone else to head one of the winningest franchises in the MLB and all of the sports.

Scott Servais (528-504), Seattle Mariners

For some fans, this selection could be a bit surprising, especially after Servais was able to FINALLY end the Mariners LONG playoff drought by making the 2022 playoffs as a Wild Card team. Before 2022, the Mariners have not made the playoffs since 1998. The team under Servais has improved and is on the verge of becoming a powerhouse in the AL.

The franchise has battled through many empty seasons and boring Summers of bad baseball. But with players like Julio Rodriguez and Luis Castillo, the team is built to win now. With that being said, this team and franchise have poured tons of resources and money into bringing in players to win. The Mariners do not want to waste any time or World Series contending years, the winning window has been opened and the time is now.

And with the superstars and budding superstars on this team currently, Servais doesn’t feel like a Home Run manager, so the team could look to find that guy if the team does not produce wins and a deep playoff run in 2023. Like it or not, sometimes the leader that helped turn the corner doesn’t get the chance to win the World Series with the same franchise.

Brandon Hyde (214-332), Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles in 2022 came on strong as the year wore on. The promotion of some young promising prospects like Adley Rutchsman and Gunnar Henderson helped keep them in playoff contention. The team was in no way projected to win that many games and the credit goes to the players and coaches like Hyde. He led them to an (83-79) record which was surprising, to say the least. So having Hyde on the hot seat could be surprising. But with the team blossoming and on the verge of being a contending team year in and year out, they could look to swing for a home run manager instead. Especially if the team regresses in 2023.

Similar to Servais for the Mariners this year, when teams get competitive they look to go all in at every spot in the organization. We’ve seen this done with teams like the Houston Astros when Bo Porter was fired after compiling a (110-190) record with the team and AJ Hinch was hired heading into 2015 and the Chicago Cubs when Rick Renteria was fired after the 2014 season (73-89) and Joe Maddon was brought in. Even like the Mets did before 2022 by hiring Buck Showalter and relieving Luis Rojas who went (103-119) over two years.

After years of rebuilding and getting beat up throughout the league, when the tables turn and these teams become the powerhouses, they look for a superstar manager to lead their team from good to great. So for Brandon Hyde, unless 2023 the Orioles progress further and make the playoffs, he could be looking at finding his next coaching gig in the MLB before the 2024 season.

Craig Counsell (615-555), Milwaukee Brewers

Craig Counsell helped bring the Brewers to the playoffs in four straight years from 2018-2021 and as a well-respected former player of the franchise, it felt like there was no way he could get fired. But the team has struggled for the past two years only having a (115-107) record and missing the 2022 playoffs.

The team has begun to slip back into the mediocracy the franchise has seemed to unfortunately always display. In 2022 the Brewers held the NL Central Division lead into the Summer, but could not fend off the St Louis Cardinals. With stretches of bad baseball and cold streaks, the team missed the playoffs. The team has some great talent, which is why it seems a bit surprising for them to continue to struggle.

With players like Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, and Christian Yelich, the front office expects better success. The team also has been making some roster moves to cut costs as well, Moves like trading Josh Hader and causing a rift with Corbin Burnes in arbitration. So the team is stuck in the middle of contending and rebuilding, which could mean the end of Craig Counsell as the manager of the Brew Crew. The team will need to rebound and make the 2023 playoffs or the franchise could be searching to fill their manager vacancy this off-season.

Buck Showalter (99-63), New York Mets

The last one on the list here is more of a surprising hot seat candidate. Buck Showalter throughout his managing career has always proven his knowledge of the game and success. Yes, he has lacked the Championships but always proves to lay the groundwork for great teams and regular-season success.

The Mets hired Buck before 2022 and that was like getting the best free agent on the market. He brings the prescience and leadership a team in New York needs as seen when the Mets scratched together a (99-63) record. But they had a bad stretch to end the year including getting swept by the Braves in a 3-game series from 9/30-10/2 in Atlanta, losing the NL East Division lead to those said Braves down the stretch. And then being quickly discarded by the San Diego Padres in the playoffs.

The team had a great year and showed signs of taking the reins from the Yankees as New York’s team, but also showed its recurring problem which is faltering down the stretch and being eliminated early on in the NL Playoffs. With the 2023 Mets already struggling with the injury bug, the team could come out of the gates slow and drag their feet this year.

With Steve Cohen and his deep pockets as the owner of the Mets and his willingness to pay for anyone and everyone to win. If the Mets do not go deep in the 2023 playoffs or even win the World Series. Mr. Cohen could have a short leash for an aging Showalter and show him the door. Similar to the way George Steinbrenner did to him after the 1995 season.

Main Image: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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