Five National League Managers On The Hot Seat
Last Year's Manager of the Year May Be The First To Get The Axe
Their Teams have Not Played As Well As Expected
New York manager Mickey Calloway received the verbal assurance that every skipper dreads to hear, the promise of keeping his job. Brodie Van Wagenen, the general manager of the Mets, denied rumors that Calloway was on the hot seat.
Usually such show of support serves merely as a delay, since the manager or coach is almost always let go within a few weeks afterwards. Calloway could have extended his stay, however, by the way the Mets have played since that announcement.
In dire need of a turnaround, New York swept their series against one of the it bitterest rivals in the National East. Calloway's clan won all four games against the Washington Nationals, climbing their way back to just one game under .500.
The winning streak will probably buy Calloway some time, so he may end up outlasting several other managers around the National League. For example, the team just swept by the Mets may be ready for a change in dugout leadership.
Washington manager Dave Martinez could be dismissed, for the Nationals have underachieved so far this season. After losing former Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper to Philadelphia as a free agent, no one thought the Nationals would be the favorites to win the N. L. East.
Still, no one imagined that Washington would play as poorly as they have for the first two months of 2019, a funk that has them in fourth place and ten games out. What is even worse, the Nationals are just one game ahead of the lowly Miami Marlins.
Also struggling of late is St. Louis, who dropped from first place in mid April all the way down to fourth. That streak of futility may result in the dismissal of Mike Shilt, who was selected as Manager of the Year in the National League just seven months ago.
After acquiring Paul Goldschmidt in the biggest blockbuster trade of the winter, the radicals were many people's favorites to win the N. L. Central. After a sparkling April run that put them in first, St. Louis has tumbled to fourth place, ahead of only the lowly Cincinnati Reds.
Speaking of the Reds, that club, too, may make a managerial change. Granted, no one expected Cincinnati to win the division, but most fans expected a marked improvement.
After all, the Reds over the winter added three quality starting pitchers in Tanner Roark, Alex Wood and Sonny Gray, while also netting Al-Star sluggers Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Instead of bolstering their offense, the Reds have been at the bottom of the league in team batting average, runs scored, and on base percentage. Kemp was struggling so much that the Reds released him in May, and Puig has spent most of the season hitting below the Mendoza Line.
David Bell, although he was just hired last November, may not be in charge of the Cincinnati Reds much longer. Fans have been screaming for his removal, so much so that the Cincinnati Enquirer columnists and beat writers have each written pieces defending Bell.
The Colorado Rockies went 91-72 last year, advancing to the playoffs in 2018. The skipper who led them there was Bud Black, who may not be around much longer at Coors Field.
Through the first two months of 2019, they are 22-25 and in fourth place. While it is still early, Colorado might have to make a change soon. When you play in the same division as the Los Angeles Dodgers you cannot afford to fall back into double digits, and the Rockies entered the weekend exactly nine games behind the reigning National League champs.