From the last pitch of the 2019 season to the start of spring training for 2020, an astonishing 10 new MLB managers have taken over. Changing managers appears to be the norm these days as front offices take more and more control over day-to-day operations.
With fresh candidates without experience like Aaron Boone or Rocco Baldelli continuing to find success, the role of the manager has never seemed more volatile. Here are five candidates who could be on the hot seat this season.
1. Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners
Scott Servais' Mariners went a dismal 68-94 last season. When Servais was hired in 2016, he was part of that new wave of managers without any prior experience. However, without a great roster and significant spending from ownership, the Mariners have extended the longest playoff drought in American professional sports to 18 years. Servais received an extension after the Mariners got off to a hot start in 2018, but they collapsed down the stretch and have been well under .500 in his tenure since the extension. Another bad year in Seattle could see the end of Servais' term as manager.
2. Bud Black, Colorado Rockies
Bud Black is one of the most respected managers in the game, especially with his ability to develop pitchers, but the Colorado Rockies are not putting him in a good situation. The Rockies went 71-91 last year and spent almost nothing in free agency while three of their NL West rivals made significant upgrades. Meanwhile, star third baseman Nolan Arenado is on icy terms with ownership, and the Rockies are projected to finish fourth in the division by Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA model. If things go south in Denver, Bud Black could find himself as a scapegoat for the front office's mess.
3. Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers
From a win-loss perspective, Dave Roberts has been one of the best managers in baseball since he was hired in 2016. Yet Roberts heard calls for his job after his bullpen management in Game 5 of the NLDS. His history of questionable playoff decisions going back to the 2017 World Series has frustrated many fans. There's no chance Roberts gets fired midseason, as the Dodgers are set up to win at least 100 games once again. However, it's clear that fans and ownership are expecting a World Series title or bust in 2020. If Roberts falls short once again, his seat will be very warm.
4. Dusty Baker, Houston Astros
There's a very good chance Dusty Baker's time with the Astros is short. That's not a knock on Baker's abilities as a manager; he has a 53.2% winning percentage over 22 seasons as manager. However, Baker was clearly brought in as a steadying hand after the Astros' sign-stealing scandal exploded. With A.J. Hinch fired and the season about to begin, the Astros brought in the 70-year-old Baker on a one-year contract to right the ship. There is a second-year club option, but unless Baker's Astros dominate, ownership will likely try to find a different long-term option.
5. Ron Roenicke, Boston Red Sox
Ron Roenicke is in a similar situation as Dusty Baker. He was promoted to "interim manager" after Alex Cora was fired in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal. The 63-year-old Roenicke was the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, but was fired in 2015 after several disappointing seasons. It doesn't make sense for the Red Sox to bring in a completely fresh face with spring training already underway. However, the Red Sox have interviewed other candidates and could easily move on from Roenicke at the end of the year, especially if things go poorly after trading Mookie Betts away.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.