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.”

ALL IN HIS HEAD?

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.”

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