It’s five months into the regular season and all 30 Major League Baseball managers who started the year with their respective teams are all still employed. That’s fairly rare but not totally uncommon.
The ax could be coming soon.
Here’s a look at some of the managers who are in a tenuous position as the season winds down.
— Aaron Boone, New York Yankees: This is Boone’s sixth season and the previous five were all very good. But the Yankees have fallen to last place in the AL East with a 62-68 record, GM Brian Cashman called the season a “disaster” and it’s fair to say that patience isn’t always the best virtue for teams in the Big Apple. The Yankees haven’t had a losing season since 1992.
— Buck Showalter, New York Mets: The 67-year-old had the Midas touch in 2022, leading the Mets to 101 wins before a disappointing wild-card round exit against the San Diego Padres. Another big season was expected after owner Steve Cohen spent huge on the team’s payroll, but the Mets have plunged to the bottom of the NL East with a 60-71 record.
— Bob Melvin, San Diego Padres: The 61-year-old is well respected and took over the Padres in 2022, leading them to an 89-win season and a spot in the NLCS before losing to the Phillies in five games. But the high-priced roster — with stars like Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Yu Darvish and Xander Bogaerts — is just 61-70 this season and almost certainly will miss the playoffs.
— Oliver Marmol, St. Louis Cardinals: The 37-year-old was surprise choice in 2022 to lead the storied franchise, but the front office looked like geniuses after Marmol guided the team to a 93-win season. He hasn’t been able to keep the momentum, with the Cardinals falling to 56-75 and a last-place spot in the NL Central. They’re on pace to lose at least 90 games for the first time since 1990.
— Pedro Grifol, Chicago White Sox: The first-year manager has been in charge during a hugely disappointing season on the South Side, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf just fired executive vice president Ken Williams and GM Rick Hahn. On top of that, pitcher Keynan Middleton didn’t have a lot of great things to say about the clubhouse culture following his trade to the Yankees.
— Bud Black, Colorado Rockies: The 66-year-old manager is well liked but is now presiding over his fifth straight losing season. It’s not all Black’s fault — the team’s roster construction is a mess and the team’s best players can’t seem to stay healthy — but it seems like the Rockies might need a new voice in the dugout.
— Phil Nevin, Los Angeles Angels: Nevin took over from the fired Joe Maddon midway through last season but hasn’t had much more success. The Angels are one of the most confounding teams in baseball, failing to make the playoffs despite having two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and one of this generation’s best players in Mike Trout. Nevin is far from that team’s only problem, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see the franchise make a change.TRIVIA QUESTION
The Yankees have finished last in their division just twice over the past century. What were those seasons?ALL OR NOTHING
Square-shaped slugger Kyle Schwarber continues one of the most unusual seasons in MLB history and could become the first player in the sport’s history to hit 40 homers despite a sub-.200 batting average.
Schwarber smacked his 36th homer of the season on Sunday, helping the Phillies beat the Cardinals 3-0. The 30-year-old is hitting just .189 this season and more than a third of his hits — 36 of 89 — have been long balls. He’s also on pace to strike out 200 times for a second straight season.
One reason Schwarber remains a useful player is that he’s not afraid to walk. He’s already taken 100 free passes this season, meaning his .335 on-base percentage is above the MLB average despite such a low batting average.RISING
The Seattle Mariners continue to play inspired baseball, jumping to the top of the AL West with a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
They’re 24-6 over their past 30 games, rocketing past the defending World Series champion Houston Astros and scuffling Texas Rangers.FALLING
Speaking of the Rangers, they looked like they were going to waltz into the playoffs just a few weeks ago.
Now, it’s not so clear.
Texas has lost nine of its last 10, no longer leads the AL West and is just 2 1/2 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot.
1966 and 1990.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb