The Arizona DiamondBacks continued their free fall even after hiring new manager A.J. Hinch, losing 6 of 8 ballgames in the week and change since the 34 year old skipper has taken over for Bob Melvin.
In the week that passed, Hinch not only got into it with pitcher Doug Davis, but also got some not so kind things said about him by former pitching coach Bryan Price:
“The hiring of A.J., I thought, was a poor decision,” Price told the Marin Independent Journal, a Bay Area, Calif., newspaper.
“A.J. has worked hard to get his credibility in the business in that [player-development] side of the game, but he doesn’t have any credibility between the lines as a manager, that, for me, just wasn’t going to work.”
If you’re the DiamondBacks, you need to do a quick evaluation of what is in your long term plans. Everything else needs to be looked at as an asset that is depreciating by the day. First off, it would be wise to lock Justin Upton up to a long term deal and say to the fans that this guy is the face of the franchise and we’re rebuilding yes; but we have some stability within our shaky and leaky ship.
You probably want to keep Brandon Webb and Danny Haren. But around trade deadline time you could bring in a king’s ransom for one or the other. And that’s what the DiamondBacks need to do. Some team is going to want an ace. Roy Halladay no longer figures to be on the market with the way the Blue Jays are playing. Haren or Webb would bring in 2 or 3, maybe even four big time prospects to this organization that can join forces with Justin Upton and make the Dbacks a powerhouse again in a few years.
Max Scherzer joins the short lists of untouchables. The guy is probably going to be the real deal. He will be ready to replace Webb or Haren (whichever is dealt) in a few years as a staff workhorse ace.
And I’m not really ready to completely rule out A.J. Hinch, either. The guy has a ton to learn about being a manager. It goes beyond baseball situations and strategy. He clearly needs to learn about managing people; which is easily the biggest part of being a skipper of a big league club or any team at any level. As green and young as Eric Wedge was, he had the Indians one game away from a World Series two years ago. Hinch can get this team to this point too but he’s going to need help.
Often the moves you make as an organization when you’re struggling are more important then the moves you make when you’re on top. It is right now that Arizona will determine where they’re going to be in 2, 3, and 5 years from now. Make Upton; who looks like a sure superstar in the making, the face of the franchise and build around him. Don’t consider Hinch the answer as manager, but exercise a little patience. It’s too late to pull the rug from under the guy.