Whoa — this came out of the blue. Our own Matthew
Pouliot said just a few weeks ago that Marlins’ manager Fredi Gonzalez should get canned, but I didn’t think it would actually happen. Now Joe Capozzi is reporting that the Florida Marlins have fired Gonzalez and two coaches. Edwin Rodriguez has been named interim manager.
The Marlins are currently 34-36. They’ve hit a bad stretch in the past couple of weeks, but they just took 2 of 3 from the Rays. Most projection systems had them as a sub-.500 team this season, so they’re actually overperforming.
Of course, Jeff Loria seemed none too eager to keep Gonzalez around after last season anyway, flirting with Bobby Valentine and everything. And of course, there was Gonzalez’s little tiff with Hanley Ramirez recently which, however on the side of angels Gonzalez happened to be, had to have harmed his relationship with his best player. A player that the owner buys jewelry for, for cryin’ out loud.
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.