Diamondbacks fire their Manager Bob Melvin
Three runs, five hits, 10 strikeouts, one manager fired.
After the Arizona Diamondbacks sleepwalked through another listless display of offense in a 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the San Diego Padres on Thursday, the club’s front office announced the dismissal of manager Bob Melvin.
“Bob has done great things for this organization,” Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes said in a statement. “Having worked with him for nearly four years, I have a great deal of respect for his character and skills. This is a difficult decision, but I feel that our organization needs to move forward with a new voice. I am grateful for all the success and memories associated with Bob.”
Diamondbacks hitting coach Rick Schu also was fired, while pitching coach Bryan Price turned in his resignation.
Melvin will be replaced in the dugout by Diamondbacks farm director A.J. Hinch, a former major-league catcher who will be introduced as Arizona’s manager at a press conference Friday afternoon at Chase Field.
Melvin, who was in his fifth season as manager of the Diamondbacks, leaves with an overall record of 337-340. He was named the National League Manager of the Year in 2007, when he led the D-backs to the NL West Division title and the NL Championship Series.
The Diamondbacks have stumbled to a 12-17 start this season, mainly due to an unproductive offense that is ranked last in the majors with a team batting average of .222.
Eric Byrnes is hitting .139 for Arizona. Conor Jackson’s average stands at .191. Chris Snyder is batting .204. Chris Young’s average is .177.
The D-backs are averaging just 3.6 runs per game, ranking 29 th out of 30 major-league teams. They have been held to three runs or fewer in 18 of their 29 games, including the last five.
Thursday’s 4-3 loss at San Diego was a microcosm of the Diamondbacks’ season.
Dan Haren pitched well enough to win, as he has in all seven of his starts, but he received a no-decision after leaving the game with the score tied at 3-3 after six innings. The Arizona offense was held hitless over the final four innings by four San Diego relievers, and the Padres broke through for the winning run in the bottom of the 10 th.
Haren (3-3, 1.84 ERA) is one of three members of the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation who have pitched much better than their records would indicate. Doug Davis is 2-4 with a 3.52 earned-run average, while Max Scherzer is 0-3 with an ERA of 3.38.
The pitchers’ deceiving won-lost records are a product of a lack of run support from an offense whose on-base percentage is an alarmingly low .296.
While the Diamondbacks’ offense has descended to the bottom of the National League rankings -- dragging down the team on a corresponding plummet to a tie for last place in the NL West standings -- it is Melvin who is taking the fall.
The 34-year-old Hinch, who has no experience as a field manager but has been the Diamondbacks’ farm director since 2006, now will see if he can lead the club out of the offensive depths of the basement.
By: Tom Kessler
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