USA Today’s Nightengale: Chip Hale hot seat rumors are nothing new

Jul 25, 2016, 5:05 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale walks to the mound during the seventh inning of a baseball g...

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale walks to the mound during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB Insider

Rumors of Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale being on the hot seat may have bubbled up as Arizona was nearly swept by another struggling team, the Cincinnati Reds.

The whispers in the baseball community, however, are nothing new.

On Monday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale joined Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Bickley and Marotta and pointed out as much.

“It just seems from outside (the D-backs are) more of an uptight team,” Nightengale said of Hale’s job status. “Those rumors have been going on in baseball for three months … I don’t know why they just came up. Maybe because they just lost a few games in a row, but they’ve always been there, and (Triple-A Reno manager) Phil Nevin will be the guy. It’s pretty much just a question of when. When do they want to pull the plug and give Nevin a chance and see if he can do it?

“I think at some point you want to see if Phil Nevin can do the job or not,” Nightengale added. “I can’t see Chip Hale coming back in 2017 to manage the club.”


Shelby Miller’s issues that led to a minor-league demotion aren’t as surprising to Nightengale as they might be to the Diamondbacks, who traded two prospects and a starting outfielder to acquire the starting pitcher last offseason.

“I think it’s all upstairs in his head,” the reporter said of Miller, who went 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA with Arizona before being sent to Triple-A Reno. “This is the same guy now where in 2014 the Cardinals didn’t even have him pitch in the playoffs. He was on the roster and never pitched one inning. You say, ‘Why is that?’ Then they move him.

“And yeah, everyone can talk about ERA and everything else, the guy was still 6-17 (in 2015 with the Braves),” Nightengale added. “He wasn’t 6-6 with (no decisions). Sometimes it’s really easy to pitch when you’re losing and the team has no expectations. It’s a little bit different with some pressure on. I think that’s what happening right now.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the Colorado Rockies ...
Jake Anderson

Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks offense get off to hot start in July vs. Rockies

Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Merrill Kelly wasted no time getting off to a hot start in the month of July.
1 day ago
Luke Weaver #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the f...
Character Counts

D-backs’ Luke Weaver helping raise money for exploited girls in Philippines

D-backs pitcher Luke Weaver is teaming up with Big League Impact to help raise money for exploited and trafficked Filipino girls.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starter Tyler Gilbert, right, gets a visit to the mound by catcher Daulton Var...
Arizona Sports

The Ain’t No Fang Podcast: Who should fill out the D-backs’ rotation?

There are spots to fill when looking at the Arizona Diamondbacks' starting rotation. Who are the likely candidates?
2 days ago
Josh Rojas #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks dives to third base to get the force out on CJ Abrams #7...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Diamondbacks offense fizzles in loss to Padres

The Arizona Diamondbacks followed up 18 runs in their last two games with zero in a loss to the San Diego Padres.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks second basemen Buddy Kennedy (45) flips the ball to Arizona Diamondbacks short...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Geraldo Perdomo, Buddy Kennedy acclimating to big-league level in rookie season

D-backs rookie infielders Geraldo Perdomo and Buddy Kennedy are finding out exactly what the everyday rigor of an MLB workday entails.
3 days ago
Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his walk-off RBI fielder's choice with ...
Jake Anderson

D-backs overcome 6-run deficit late to walk off Padres in bizarre fashion

The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied late to walk off the San Diego Padres 7-6 in bizarre fashion at Chase Field on Tuesday night.
4 days ago
USA Today’s Nightengale: Chip Hale hot seat rumors are nothing new