Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Hinch promoted to D’backs skipper after Melvin fired

Director of player development expected to be named manager Friday.



SAN DIEGO – Off to an uneven start to a season that was brimming with expectations, the Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Bob Melvin on Thursday night.

Melvin was given the news Thursday night after the team returned from its road trip in San Diego, and the club announced the move shortly after in a news release.

Director of Player Development A.J. Hinch is expected to be named as Melvin’s replacement at a 3 p.m. Friday news conference.

In addition, hitting coach Rick Schu was fired, and pitching coach Bryan Price resigned. Third base coach Chip Hale, a former Arizona Wildcat, is expected to stay in that position.

“Bob has done great things for this organization,” general manager Josh Byrnes said in the statement. “Having worked with him for nearly four years, I have a great deal of respect for his character and skills. This is a difficult decision, but I feel that our organization needs to move forward with a new voice. I am grateful for all the success and memories associated with Bob.”

Melvin had one year left on a contract that was negotiated after he was named the National League’s manager of the year in 2007.

After a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon, the Diamondbacks fell to 12-17. They opened the day 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West standings.

Melvin and his staff drew criticism for an offense that is hitting .222 and has largely struggled since a hot start to last season.

Another reason for the dismissal appears to be what sources describe as a deteriorating relationship between Melvin and Byrnes, who gave the manager a three-year extension after Melvin guided the team to the National League Championship Series in 2007.

Several key players are underperforming compared to their career averages, including left fielder Conor Jackson, center fielder Chris Young, first baseman Chad Tracy, catcher Chris Snyder and outfielder Eric Byrnes.

Melvin, the winningest manager in franchise history, departs with a 337-340 record with the Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall suggested that changes to the roster might be coming, intimating that the club is considering sending Young, who is hitting .177, to the minors.



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