MLBits: Skippers on the Hot Seat, La Russa’s Future in Chicago, Buehler’s Surgery, ’22 Postseason Schedule, More

Four managers have gotten the axe this season, and we’re still in August. Surely there will be more managers to suffer the same fate in the coming months.

MLB Skippers on the Hot Seat

Chris Woodward became the latest manager to be fired this season, joining Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon, and Charlie Montoyo. A 53-61 record for the Rangers entering play on Monday was deemed not a good enough showing by the front office. Texas spent nearly a half-billion on their infield this offseason after losing 102 games in 2021, signing All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to a $325M, 10-year contract and Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien to a $175M, seven-year deal.

The Rangers’ front office knew those additions alone wouldn’t solve their problems, but they expected the results to be further along than they stand. The Rangers haven’t been above .500 at all this season.

Woodward won’t be the last skipper to lose his job this season, and Bob Nightengale lists some managers on the hot seat down the stretch in his column at USA Today:

Nightengale’s list includes some obvious choices, such as MLB’s four current lame-duck skippers like Torey Lovullo and the four interim managers. Nightengale also argued reasonably why Mike Matheny, Don Mattingly, and Scott Servais’ seats might be getting warm. Still, the most obvious name in this discussion has to be Tony La Russa.

La Russa and the White Sox have had the most disappointing season in baseball, and there’s been no shortage of managerial head-scratchers on and off the field. From questioning players like Johnny Cueto, who have said that the team needs to play with more fire to dozing off in the dugout, it’s been a circus on the South Side.

Just hours after Nightengale named La Russa in his hot seat column, another proud moment for White Sox fans made its way onto the internet and now has over a million views:

A fan can be seen and heard urging La Russa to use Adam Engel as a pinch runner for Eloy Jiménez at second base after Jiménez doubled home two runs in the eighth inning to tie the game. The camera pans to La Russa, calling a very late time out to allow the substitution to take place. The joke is now “the fan reminded La Russa to use a pinch runner.”

Look, that’s probably not true; I’m sure that if anyone “reminded” La Russa to use Engel as a pinch runner, it was someone inside the dugout. Still, the fact that anyone had to remind him to do it is a perfect illustration as to why he isn’t cut out for this job anymore.

But, as Nightengale writes in his story, the White Sox aren’t going to fire Tony La Russa:

“Tony La Russa, Chicago White Sox: The White Sox would never fire La Russa again, but they would move him to a special assistant’s role if they miss the postseason. They are the most underachieving team in baseball playing in the league’s softest division.”

Jerry Reinsdorf will not a) fire his friend for a second time or b) admit that he screwed up by hiring him in the first place, costing the White Sox two years in what was supposed to be their contention window.

Walker Buehler to Have Elbow Surgery

Walker Buehler’s season is over after a recent MRI on his right arm has prompted season-ending elbow surgery. Buehler hasn’t pitched since June 10, but the Dodgers were optimistic that Buehler could make a return to action in September.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Monday that soreness and sharpness in Buehler’s elbow during his throwing program led to the latest MRI and eventually the decision to go the surgery route. Roberts confirmed that Buehler would miss the rest of the 2022 season and said that the Dodgers would know more about a return timeline for Buehler after surgery. Still, you have to imagine that this rehab will cost Buehler a hefty portion of the 2023 season.

Odds and Ends

  • The postseason schedule has been released:
  • Jeff Passan does a great job of giving you the important dates in these tweets:
  • Well, that’s embarrassing. Always cover the plate!
  • Sandy Alcántara is something else, runaway NL Cy Young candidate among those somethings:
  • Ian Happ apparently enjoys hitting in D.C.:
  • 🤯:
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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