With just about 25 percent of the season complete, two teams have already fired their respective managers. Ron Roenicke was replaced with Craig Counsell, while Mike Redmond was replaced with Miami's GM, Dan Jennings. Both of these former managers were early favorites on the 2015 managerial hot seat lists, and it was no surprise to see them go. The question now is who will be next to get the axe.
Walt Weiss, (14-22)
The Rockies were in the news lately because it seemed like their star shortstop would ask for a trade, and further signal that Colorado was in for a long season. That didn't happen, and while that was seemingly good news for the team, the overall standing of the franchise is in bad shape. They haven't made the playoffs since 2009, and have lost at least 88 games for four consecutive seasons. Former GM Dan O'Dowd hired Weiss for the start of the 2013 season, and since then, the team has gone 154-206.
He received an extension through the end of the 2016 season, but if new GM Jeff Bridich wants to start remaking the team he inherited, a managerial change might be one of the best ways to accomplish that. Tulowitzki asking for a trade would have been the fastest way to improve the trajectory of the franchise, but installing a new leader for the field might be warranted.
Terry Francona (15-23)
It seems odd to see Francona's name here, but that's the reality of the 2015 Indians. While they were one of the trendy picks for the AL Central, and one of Sports Illustrated's teams that could win the World Series, they've gotten off to a less than stellar start. They're currently eight games under .500, and are 9.5 back of the Royals. Francona has a great track record as a manager, but expectations are high in Cleveland.
They have the ninth most valuable pitching staff in the AL, but with just the 14th best offense, and the 28th worst defense, the Indians haven't been able to capitalize. They simply aren't playing well enough to support their stellar pitching performances, and have wasted opportunities. If the Indians choose to shake things up with the staff, the hitting coach would likely come first, but if the slide continues, Francona could be on his way out as well.
John Gibbons (18-23)
The Blue Jays have been expected to contend for some time now, but year after year something fails to click. Toronto is last in the AL East, but just by 4.5 games. The division is still wide open, but Gibbons may not be the man to turn things around. After recent comments in which Mark Buehrle suggested a fire sale may be imminent, Josh Donaldson seemingly offered an ultimatum.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Josh Donaldson: "This isn't the try league. This is the get-it-done league." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueJays?src=hash">#BlueJays</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLB?src=hash">#MLB</a></p>— Scott MacArthur (@TSNScottyMac) <a href="https://twitter.com/TSNScottyMac/status/599772584956264449">May 17, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
While Toronto's slow start isn't completely on the shoulders of Gibbons, he may wind up as the fall guy. Their GM Alex Anthopolous could have undoubtedly done more during the offseason. The Blue Jays have combined for just 0.2 fWAR, the least valuable staff (starters and relievers) of any team in baseball. They have the fourth most potent offense in baseball, but still can't seem to win. With playoff expectations, that won't be allowed to continue for much longer.
Fredi Gonzalez (18-21)
While Atlanta has performed better than many assumed, Gonzalez is undoubtedly on the hot seat. At the very least, he's a lame duck manager; as he's in the last year of a contract that his current GM didn't sign. It's been well documented that the Braves are rebuilding with 2017 in mind, and John Hart may choose to get a new manager in the picture sooner rather than later.
Terry Collins (23-17)
Collins is the only manger on this list whose team is above .500 and actually in first place, but that is the weirdness of the Mets. They started off incredibly hot, and at one point won ten games in a row. But with injuries to David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud, their offense has faltered. Once they return, Collins must prove he can keep the team in the hunt for the playoffs, or he could be gone. Despite losing Zack Wheeler for the season, New York's rotation is still one of the league's best.
Collins suggested that Syndergaard could move to the bullpen once Dillon Gee is reinstated, but that would seem unlikely with the way he's pitched thus far. Once Wright and d'Arnaud are back in the everyday lineup (and can stay healthy), the Mets will need to make a serious run. Collins almost lost his job at the end of last year, and with more talent this season than he's had in years past, the expectations are much higher.