It appears that for the second time this season, a NL West manager will get the axe (Diamondbacks manager, Bob Melvin being the first). According to the Denver Post, Rockies’ manager Clint Hurdle is managing on borrowed time. I am kind of torn on whether or not this is a good move by the Rockies.
On one hand, Hurdle is 460-537 in seven seasons as the Rockies’ skipper. Not very impressive. This year, the Rockies are in last place 14.5 games out of first place with a 18-28 record in the weak NL West. What is not helping Hurdle is the fact that the San Diego Padres, a team many predicted to win maybe 60 games this year are in second place and greatly overachieving with a 24-23 record. Management is thinking, if the Padres can overachieve why can’t our club do the same?
Also not helping Hurdle is that Troy Tulowitzki and Garrett Atkins have forgotten how to hit. As unfair as it may seem, when your star players aren’t performing it comes back on the manager. Tulowitzki is putting up a .227/5/15 line (just killing my fantasy team) and Atkins is putting up a worse .195/3/15 line. We are all talking about Ortiz’s falloff, how about we start talking about Atkins’ falloff? This guy averaged 25 HR’s and 110 RBI the last three seasons and now on May 29th, he is hitting .195. What the heck happened to this guy?
On the other hand, just two years ago Hurdle led the Rockies to their first World Series in franchise history and finished third in the Manager of the Year voting in the NL. Two years ago, Hurdle was the toast of the town and now all of a sudden he can’t manage? I find that hard to believe.
I also find it hard to believe Rockies’ management had higher expecations for this club. Many people (including myself) picked the Rockies to finish in 4th place this season. As I have said several times before, you can’t lose your best player in Matt Holliday and your best pitcher in Jeff Frances in the offseason and expect to compete. The Rockies for the most part are where most people thought they would be right now. How is that Hurdle’s fault?
So as you can see I am pretty torn about the potential firing of Clint Hurdle. I just think at the end of the day, a manager should have more equity if he led a team a World Series appearance. If the Rockies do let Hurdle go, I am going to suggest Vinny Castilla as their next manager. Castilla was a great player for the Rockies from 1993-1999 and also had two other stints with the Rockies in 2004 and 2006. Castilla was also the manager of Team Mexico in the 2009 WBC and also managed in the Mexican Pacific League. So he does have managing experience.