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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-05-08

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-05-08

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-05-08
The Diamondbacks fired manager Bob Melvin and hitting coach Rick Schu on Thursday night, after which pitching coach Bryan Price resigned.

A.J. Hinch will be announced as the manager at a Friday afternoon press conference, a source with knowledge of the hiring said Thursday night.

The D-backs informed Melvin and Schu of the decision after the team returned to Phoenix from an eight-game road trip that concluded with a 4-3, 10-inning loss in San Diego on Thursday afternoon. Price, one of Melvin's closest friends, quit when he heard the news.

"Bob has done great things for this organization," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "Having worked with him for nearly four years, I have a great deal of respect for his character and skills. This is a difficult decision, but I feel that our organization needs to move forward with a new voice. I am grateful for all the success and memories associated with Bob."

Hinch, a catcher who spent all or part of eight seasons in the major leagues, has never managed. He served as the Diamondbacks' farm director since 2006.

The D-backs (12-17) are 8 1/2 games in the NL West and have the worst batting average (.225), worst on-base percentage (.297) and worst batting average with runners in scoring position (.192) in the major leagues. They have one hit in their last 36 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Melvin won the NL Manager of Year voting while leading the D-backs to the 2007 NL West title and NL Championship Series. That team finished 90-72 and set a major league record by becoming the first club to lead its league in victories despite scoring fewer runs that it gave up, 732-712.

The D-backs started 20-8 last season and led the NL West from April 6 to Sept. 6 before being overtaken by the Dodgers. They are 74-89 since their fast start last year.

The team trumpeted its outfield depth in the offseason, but Justin Upton (.294) is the only outfielder hitting over .200. Eric Byrnes (.133) has one hit in his last 31 at-bats, and Chris Young (.174) has one hit in his last 25 at-bats, and that was on a misplayed grounder. Conor Jackson is hitting .191.

Schu joined the team at the 2007 All-Star break when the offense was struggling. Price was Baseball America's minor league coach of the year in 2007.

PADRES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3 (10 innings): The offense continued to struggle, getting only five hits and going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The Diamondbacks fell five games under .500.

OF Justin Upton had two hits to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games. RHP Dan Haren gave up three runs in six innings in his seventh quality start of the season and helped with his bat, doubling home a run and scoring another in the second inning.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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