San Francisco Giants: Coaching Staff Shakeup Coming
By Daniel Sperry
The San Francisco Giants fired Roberto Kelly and Billy Hayes, and Ron Wotus could potentially be managing elsewhere come opening day. The Giants coaching staff will definitely see a shakeup for next year, but who will be here on opening day?
The San Francisco Giants front office knows what it is doing roughly 90% of the time. You can kiss their rings if you think otherwise. The terrible collapse in game four of the NLDS pretty much gave you a snapshot into their 2016 second half. While many wanted some really big heads to roll (Bruce Bochy has a freakin big dome guys), the only guys who got canned were the base coaches.
Frankly, Roberto Kelly did a pretty bad job replacing Tim Flannery as the third base coach. Many of his decisions to send runners, and his ability to read the entire play developing just didn’t cut it. For that, he’s gone. Billy Hayes wasn’t that great at first base either. They both felt the axe drop, and will be looking for work elsewhere presumably. We’ll get to who could replace them a little later. First we need to discuss the potential third opening that we could see in a few weeks.
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Ron Wotus has reportedly been “next in line” for a manager’s job for the last four or five years. He interviewed for both the Tampa Bay Rays job in 2014, and the Washington Nationals job last offseason. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t interviewed at all for either of the NL West jobs that are open (Arizona and Colorado). Arizona would be a likely landing spot. However, that may change as they just hired a new GM, Mike Hazen. Thanks to his Red Sox connections, Hazen may bring over the current bench coach in Boston, to manage the D-Backs. The good old “spoils system.”
The reason I say Arizona for Wotus is that former Padres manager, Bud Black, is probably going to be interviewed for both spots. It’s safe to say he’ll have his pick of the lot. Frankly, if he chose the Arizona situation over the Rockies situation, I’d be shocked. Who wouldn’t want to take all that young talent in Colorado? That would most likely leave Wotus for Arizona. The Red Sox connections seem too good to be true out in the desert, so unless he get’s another interview elsewhere, Wotus just might stay put. However, I could easily be proven wrong here.
Potential Replacement Coaches
I have no idea who is going to replace Kelly or Hayes. However, I’m pretty sure the Giants, and specifically Bruce Bochy are going to look from within, or they’ll get somebody the Giants have a history with. Five candidates I would look at for the open, and potentially open coaching positions:
Shawon Dunston: Dunston has become famous with Giants fans for the last few years, specifically for being known as “the replay guy.” Dunston has been with the Giants for eight seasons now, and might be a good candidate for first base. He had 212 stolen bases in his career and would be a good fit for the role.
Will Clark: Clark has been a part-time hitting instructor with the Giants for the last few years. He’s a great baseball mind, and has good rapport with the Giant’s clubhouse. He’d be fantastic in any type of full-time role with the Giants. It’s only a matter of IF he wants to get into a full-time role.
Jose Alguacil: Alguacil is the Manager for the San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate, the Sacramento RiverCats. He’s moved up the Giants leadership totem pole rather quickly, earning his first manager’s appointment in 2015 with AA Richmond, and then moving up to AAA Sacramento the next season. Alguacil would be a great option for either of the base coaching positions, and potentially the bench coach if that position were to be open.
Steve Decker: Decker has been with the Giants organization for 22 years, and is currently serving as Hensley Muelen’s assistant hitting instructor. Decker has slowly moved up the organizational ranks, and would most likely be a candidate for either of the base-coach positions
Barry Bonds: This one is frankly a shot in the dark, because there are two forces at play. One, the Giants wouldn’t provide Barry the role he would want, and he could probably get the role he would want somewhere else. The role he’d want would most likely be as the Hitting Coach, and there is no way the Giants would un-seat “Bam-Bam” for that to happen. However, if Barry is willing to humble himself a bit, and maybe take Decker’s spot if Decker gets a base-coaching job, then maybe he could return to the San Francisco Giants. However, that would require Barry to humble himself. So that’s going to be a very unlikely scenario.
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Overall, any of these replacements would be decent moves by the Giants. There is still the potential that Kelly and Hayes get re-assigned elsewhere within the organization. Clearly, the roles they were in were not good fits.