Another manager is on his way out. Not long after the Chicago White Sox announced that Robin Ventura would relinquish his duties and the Colorado Rockies announced that Walt Weiss was stepping aside, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to remove manager Chip Hale from his post. In addition, Senior Vice President and General Manager Dave Stewart will not return for the 2017 season.
OFFICIAL: The #Dbacks have parted ways with Sr. Vice President & GM Dave Stewart and Manager Chip Hale.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 3, 2016
Diamondbacks Fire Chip Hale, Dave Stewart
Coming into the 2016 season, expectations were high for the Dbacks. While they were not necessarily World Series favorites, many expected them to at least compete for the NL West division title. They returned a strong offense and solid defense from 2015, and added starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller in the offseason. Those were supposed to be the pieces that finally moved them past the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the division. Needless to say, that dream quickly turned into a nightmare.
While the Diamondbacks were plagued by injuries, including losing star outfielder A.J. Pollock early in the year, their big acquisitions flopped from the get-go. Greinke, the former ace of the Dodgers, faltered out of the gate, to the tune of a 5.50 ERA in April. Though he was much better in May and June, he then missed July due to injury. When he returned, he was not the same pitcher, and recorded 6.41 and 5.56 ERAs in August and September, respectively. That’s far from the return Arizona expected for the $206.5 million it shelled out for his services.
Miller turned out to be even more of a disaster. Acquired from the Atlanta Braves for top prospect, and former first overall pick, Dansby Swanson, Miller pitched so poorly that Arizona demoted him to Triple-A midway through the season.
As a result, the Diamondbacks finished the year with a 69-93 record, fourth in the division, and Hale finished his two-season tenure as manager with an overall record of 148-176. Stewart was hired in 2014 to work with Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa. He played a major role in reshaping the roster and in contract negotiations, making it almost inevitable that he would be fired for the sub-par results of the Greinke and Miller acquisitions.
La Russa’s future with the club is also up in the air. His contract runs out after this season, and a decision on his status has yet to be made.
Diamondbacks in the process of determining what if any role Tony LaRussa will have going forward
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) October 3, 2016