Steve Gilbert reports:
#Dbacks have fired manager A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes according to a baseball source. Full story in a few minutes on dbacks.com.
I don’t know where to draw the line between the failure of a player and the failure of a manager. But I do know this: the D-Backs are top 5 in UZR/150, top 10 in wOBA, and slightly below average in starting pitching. Not bad.
They’re so bad in bullpen pitching, though, that their overall team pitching is third worst in baseball in xFIP, just ahead of the Pirates and Orioles. So basically their bullpen is absolutely sinking them, which Hinch did everything he could to avoid.
The D-backs bullpen’s ERA/FIP/xFIP: 6.98/5.56/5.16. That’s WITH a 62 LOB%.
So he knew what the problem was and tried to work around it, but couldn’t avoid getting burned (no pun intended). At some point, you gotta hand the ball over to a reliever.
Byrnes also did a great job assembling the team, from farm development to trades (getting Dan Haren for not that much, as it turns out) and with a reasonable budget.
Seems like a reactionary move with the team’s current record (31-48, 5th place in NL West). Maybe it’s Byrnes’ fault for not assembling a decent bullpen, but it was a team-wide meltdown. Maybe that’s why Hinch isn’t to blame either.
But heads gotta roll, I guess.
Interested to see what D-Backs ownership does in response. Who are they gonna hire as full time GM and manager before the start of the new season? Surely they’re not gonna stick with interim GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Kirk Gibson, right?