Are Bob Melvin's days numbered? Nick Piecoro's reading between the lines:
- Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall went on KTAR this morning and had some strong, strong comments that suggest major changes are afoot for his struggling club.
If we had to guess, based on these comments and on what we've been hearing the past few days, manager Bob Melvin is pretty close to losing his job. Hall seemed to suggest that some players might be in danger of losing theirs, as well.
A few highlights, in my opinion, of what he said, and then I'll put most of the full transcript from the segment below.
* Hall seemed to suggest there could be a problem in the club's talent-evaluation process -- or at least the development of these players at the major-league level. After referencing Carlos Quentin, he said, "Maybe something's missing here in our system. Let's figure it out.”
* Then the part that makes me suspect a decision already has been made to fire Melvin: "If you think a decision needs to be made, regardless of the winning streak or the loss streak or where you're at in the standings, you've got to make the move.” That, to me, is him saying that he knows they won last night and knows they have Dan Haren on the mound today against a bad Padres team, but it doesn't matter if they've won two in a row when they get home tonight. We should mention that he said a "definitive decision is not there yet."
Gosh, I don't know. Chris Young's been awful, but Justin Upton's been excellent. Chad Tracy and Conor Jackson have been terrible, but Brandon Webb and Stephen Drew have been hurt. With the exception of Yusmeiro Petit (Webb's replacement), the rotation's been real good. With the exception of Jon Rauch, so has the bullpen.
I suppose the knock against the Diamondbacks is that they're not as good as their young players, a year or two ago, led us to believe they would become. But aside from Young, the chief offenders this spring have been the 27-year-old Jackson and the (almost) 29-year-old Tracy. Pick up decent seasons from those two and get Webb off the DL, and the Diamondbacks are sitting right around .500.
One gets the impression that Derrick Hall understands most of this. More from the interview: "Is it fair to put the blame on one man? No. Does it happen all the time in major sports? Yes. And sometimes teams do respond, players respond."
Sometimes they do. But I've often wondered how many of the positive "responses" we've observed over the years are simply regressions to the mean. Because I have a feeling that Jackson and Tracy are going to improve no matter who's managing the club.