What Chip Hale’s extension means for the Diamondbacks
So, I guess Tony La Russa won’t be managing the Diamondbacks this year.
The team signed manager Chip Hale to an extension through at least 2017, according to Jon Morsi of Fox Sports. This is good news for the second-year manager, as he receives an increased amount of job security. Likewise, any endorsement from a front office that is headlined by one of the best managers in major league history represents a glowing reflection of Hale’s performance last season.
Hale comes into this season with increased expectations, as Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller will be bought into the fold, along with several new assistant coaches as well. Matt Williams will serve as third base coach after a turbulent two-year tenure of managing the Nationals. Longtime Angels pitching Mike Butcher will become Diamondbacks pitching coach. Butcher had been with the Angels since 2006. Dave Magadan, who was the hitting coach for several offense-happy Rangers teams, will serve as the Diamondbacks hitting coach. On the surface, it seems as though this is a better supporting cast on all ends for Hale to work with in 2016. So a near-.500 finish will not cut it for this season, although it looks unlikely that he will be fired in-season.
Hale took over a Diamondbacks team that was 63-99 in 2014, the worst record in all of baseball. His first season saw the team improve by 16 games, as the Diamondbacks went 79-83. The expectations will be much higher this season, so another improvement will likely be necessary for Hale to become the manager of the future. If the Diamondbacks could improve by another 16 games this season, Arizona is going to be a very happy place come October.