Arizona Diamondbacks fire general manager Dave Stewart, manager Chip Hale
The Arizona Diamondbacks entered the 2016 season with high expectations but fell far from reaching them during a 69-93 season.
And now, their general manager and manager are without a job.
The D-backs announced they have relieved skipper Chip Hale of his duties, ending his tenure with the team after his second season. General manager Dave Stewart has also been let go.
OFFICIAL: The #Dbacks have parted ways with Sr. Vice President & GM Dave Stewart and Manager Chip Hale.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 3, 2016
Under Hale in 2015 and 2016, the D-backs posted a 148-176 record.
Stewart, who coached and worked in front offices before creating a professional sports agency, was hired in 2014 to work under chief baseball officer Tony La Russa by revamping the lineup and be a major part of contract negotiations.
“We are very grateful to Dave and Chip who are widely respected throughout the game of baseball,” said managing general partner Ken Kendrick in a press release. “Ultimately, the results have not been what we had hoped and while that responsibility is shared by all of us, we have decided that a change is necessary. We are still discussing what the appropriate role for Tony La Russa will be going forward.”
The moves come after the Diamondbacks finished in fourth place in the NL West this season. While no one was necessarily expecting them to contend for a World Series title, it is fair to say they were supposed to be better than this and not 10 games worse than the 2015 season in which a gritty team won 79 games despite having a patchwork pitching staff.
One could point to injuries — outfielders A.J. Pollock and David Peralta and pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Zack Greinke have missed significant time — as reason for the team’s problems in 2016, and no doubt they played a role.
It also did not help that pitcher Shelby Miller, who was acquired in a big offseason trade with the Atlanta Braves, was in the midst of a disastrous season before being demoted to Triple-A midway through the year.
Miller wasn’t the only problem on the pitching staff. Arizona finished the regular season with an MLB-worst 5.11 ERA.
Just two skippers in Diamondbacks history — Buck Showalter and Bob Brenly — have finished their D-backs tenure with a winning record.
The D-backs must also make a decision on the status of chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, whose contracts run out after this season. That decision has not been made yet.
Diamondbacks in the process of determining what if any role Tony LaRussa will have going forward
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) October 3, 2016
Hale had one more year left on his contract.
#Dbacks Chip Hale will be paid for 2017 since he had 1 year left on deal. Only 2 coaches — Butcher & Magadan — have contracts for next yr.
— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) October 3, 2016