Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson kept his job despite a disappointing season, but general manager Kevin Towers dropped hints two weeks ago that the coaching staff might not be so lucky and sure enough Arizona has fired pitching coach Charles Nagy.
And according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic there may be more coaching changes on the way, perhaps as soon as later this week.
Nagy spent three seasons on the job, during which time the Diamondbacks ranked 9th, 9th, and 10th in ERA among NL teams. Those numbers aren’t as bad as they look because Arizona plays in a very hitter-friendly ballpark, but after back-to-back 81-81 seasons management felt someone had to go.
UPDATE: Another firing announced, as the Diamondbacks said goodbye to first base coach Steve Sax. Piecoro reports that the rest of the coaching staff–including Matt Williams, Alan Trammell, Don Baylor, and Turner Ward–has been asked back.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.