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Mike Alonso Left a Major League Legacy at Upland

Which MLB Manager is on the Hot Seat?

June 20, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
Brad Ausmus could soon part ways with the Detroit Tigers.
Brad Ausmus could be the first manager fired this year. (en.wikipedia.org)>

At the beginning of June, there was talk that Boston Manager John Farrell’s job was in jeopardy. After all, the BoSox were floundering at 29-25 and there had been episodes of friction between him and some players (such as with Drew Pomeranz, as you can see in the video below).

However, a 10-5 run has seen Boston pull into a tie for first in the AL East, likely stemming rumours of his demise — for now.

So if Farrell is currently safe, who’s in trouble?

The Mets are playing better lately, so we’re going to assume Terry Collins’ job is not in question. If their pitching gets healthy, they should be in the NL Wild Card race; if not, we’ll re-evaluate his job security, especially in light of all the off field craziness surrounding that team recently.

No, if we had to pick the first manager to get fired this season, it will be back in the AL, specifically in Motor City. Detroit’s Brad Ausmus has to be sweating right now with his Tigers in free fall, recently slipping behind suddenly rejuvenated KC, with the White Sox heating up and about to push the Cats into the cellar.

Ausmus has already survived one scare after his second season in 2015 when it looked like he was on thin ice. He failed to enjoy any playoff success with a team built to win it all, and now he’s stuck with an old and underachieving roster that costs more than any in the game. The AL Central is up for grabs, but the Tigers under Ausmus seem incapable of taking advantage of this situation, just losing four of six on its recent homestand.

Clearly, it’s time for a new look in the dugout.

If the Tigers keep sinking and decide to divest themselves of Ausmus, who might they peg to replace him?

Ideally, it would be someone with more experience than Ausmus had (zero). Don Wakamatsu has been the bench coach of the Royals since after the 2013 season and previously managed the Mariners to a .464 winning percentage over 274 games in 2009 and 2010. He could be the first choice of just about any team that has an opening, but would the Royals allow a division rival to hire him away? That may not work.

Boston hitting coach Chili Davis is considered ready for a managing gig, but without any experience, he may not be Detroit’s best bet. This veteran team may need a veteran manager to turn it around.

San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus is in the same situation — a man that’s coached in a winning environment that’s ready for his own team, but has no big league managing experience. Still, with seven years as a minor league manager, he’d come to the job far more qualified than Ausmus did.

Florida bench coach Tim Wallach is in a similar situation, and has long been touted as a managerial candidate. He does have managing experience at Triple-A; in fact in his only season there in 2009, he was PCL Manager of the Year. Wallach is considered one of the good guys in the game. If you’re going to take a chance on a manager without big league experience, we like this choice.

Chip Hale is a similar candidate to Wakamatsu, having spent two full seasons guiding the D-Backs to a substandard record. Hale has tons of minor league managing experience and lots of MLB coaching time, in addition to his managing background. He seems to be being underutilized in Oakland, so would welcome a change.

Cubs bench coach Davey Martinez is another coach that’s long been ready for his crack at managing. He’s tasted winning environments, but we believe what’s holding him back is his lack of minor league managing experience.

Giants’ third base coach Phil Nevin is another strong candidate, one with a history playing for the Tigers and managing in their minor league system. He’s had a crack at big league managing positions but is still looking to land his first gig.

Toronto bench coach DeMarlo Hale has also been knocking on the door of a big league managing gig for a long time, and probably has more managing experience than anyone on this list, just not at the big league level.

Cleveland first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. was given all of six games as the interim manager of the Indians back in 2012. It’s time for him to get a real shot, as it’s been some time since he had an opportunity to interview for a managing position.

For our money, we like either Hale, Wallach or Nevin as the next manager of the Tigers, a search we expect to begin very soon unless Detroit suddenly gets hot heading into the All-Star break.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you think will happen with Ausmus, and who might replace him if he gets axed.

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The Wire Troll: Sandy Alcantara Turning Things Around

June 18, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Another top prospect that’s recently gotten the call, Chapman’s arrival has coincided with the A’s starting to heat up, and yes, these two events are clearly connected. He drew two walks and scored a run in his debut, got a hit and three RBI in his second game and then had two hits, including his first double, and a run in Game No. 3. Chapman is another one that looks here to stay.
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The Wire Troll: It’s Almost Gleyber Torres Time

June 11, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
As we enter the time of the year when prospects begin to get called up, it’s time once again to consider Fulmer. The eighth overall pick in 2015 has great strikeout potential, averaging nearly 8.5 Ks per nine over his minor league career, although that number has dipped this season. Fulmer ended May on a rough note, but has really come on so far this month. His overall ERA is still less than impressive, mostly because of some long ball issues, but he’s kept the ball in the yard in his last two starts. Fulmer will definitely get another look with the Pale Hose in the not too distant future.
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The Wire Troll: Tommy Kahnle Racking up the Ks

June 4, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
So far, Young has really taken advantage of his opportunity, hitting safely in four of five games, with three multi-hit efforts. He swiped two bags in his season debut, so hopefully the conservative Angels will keep letting him run, as that’s where his value lies.
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2017 RotoRob Top 80 Fantasy Baseball Prospects

May 30, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Swanson dealt with some back woes this spring, but it’s not a major issue, and he’s expected to take a major step forward this year. He’ll be a big part of what should be a much better Atlanta squad in 2017. The one worry we have here is that Swanson’s strikeout rate rose from 14 per cent at High-A to 18.8 per cent at Double to 23.4 per cent in the majors. We can’t see him hitting over .300 with a contact rate that low, so keep an eye on that. Still, we have full confidence that Swanson will adjust, and after a very ugly April, he was much better in May. He will need to start using the whole field, instead of being such a pull hitter, to take the next step.
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