Who is on the Hot Seat Entering this Season?

Gabe Goralnick looks at who could lose their job in 2023

The Executives:


Rick Hahn (CHW):

Promoted to general manager in 2012, Rick Hahn oversaw the White Sox’s protracted rebuild and their journey back into contention. The team reached the playoffs in 2020 and 2021 but failed to get much farther than early October. Then, in 2022, despite their $200 million payroll, the White Sox finished with a neutral 81-81 record. Last season’s woes can, however, be attributed to the roster’s numerous injuries.

White Sox fans are understandably frustrated at this point, and if the disappointment on the field continues, the frustration will worsen, potentially leading to smaller game turnouts. Ownership feels it when fans stop showing up to the ballpark; it brings a sense of urgency. With Tony LaRussa already out the door, the next logical domino to fall could be Hahn.


Chaim Bloom (BOS):

Red Sox President and CEO, Sam Kennedy, recently reiterated ownership’s commitment to Chaim Bloom. That commitment can, however, disappear ever so quickly if the Red Sox are to meet a similar fate in 2023 as they did in 2022. During Bloom’s tenure as Chief Baseball Officer, Boston has gone from last place, to the ALCS, and back into the basement. Consecutive poor seasons have tended to be the chief fireable offense in Boston over the last couple of decades.

After the Red Sox finished 2022 with a 78-84 record, Bloom has gone out and improved the roster in several crucial ways. According to MLB.com, Boston added the 5th-most WAR (6.1) to their roster during the offseason. However, the roster also lost some crucial components in Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi, and others. The 2023 Red Sox have a solid team that could very well crack into the postseason. If they fail to do so, it is hard to envision Bloom sitting in the same chair come 2024.


Farhan Zaidi (SF):

In many ways, Farhan Zaidi’s situation can be compared to that of Bloom. Zaidi has assembled just one playoff team during his four-year tenure. That 107-win 2021 season can now, in part, be attributed to a culmination of overperformances. Like Bloom, Zaidi was plucked out of the Tampa Bay Rays front office and was brought in to build a solid farm system while fielding a consistently competitive major league product; that mandate has not gone well. Former top prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos, both on whom so much of the club’s future success hinged, have failed to pan out. The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked San Francisco’s farm system at 18th overall in February. As for competitiveness, those types of seasons have been in short supply in San Francisco as of late.


The Managers:


Gabe Kapler (SF):

Similar to Zaidi, Gabe Kapler could be let go if the Giants have an unsuccessful 2023. In a big market such as San Francisco, pressure will be mounted on ownership in the midst of a sub-par season to make significant changes and even to find someone to subtly blame for the troubles. Kapler is not very far removed from his first managerial stint from which he was fired just two years into the job. He has undoubtedly learned a lot since then, but at the end of the day, results speak.


Torey Lovullo (ARI):

After three straight sub-.500 finishes, Torey Lovullo’s job may be in jeopardy if this season heads in a similar direction as his last three. Talent-wise, the Diamondbacks have a lot going for them heading into 2023. Christian Walker is coming off a near-40 home run season during which Merrill Kelly carried a 3.37 ERA through 200 innings, not to mention Zac Gallen who finished fifth for the National League Cy Young. Additionally, newly acquired Gabriel Moreno is expected to make an impact along with Jake McCarthy who had a solid 2023 rookie campaign. If the Diamondbacks cannot put together a winning season, Lovullo may receive the brunt of the blame.


AJ Hinch (DET):

During AJ Hinch’s first year in Detroit, the Tigers appeared the take a step forward with a strong second half. In 2022, however, that progression was nowhere to be seen as the team finished the season with a 96 in the loss column. It may be hard to believe that Hinch, who flourished with the Astros, could be let go of so hastily by Detroit, nevertheless, success in one major league clubhouse does not necessarily translate into the other 29.

Hinch has not been dealt the greatest hand when it comes to talent, but he still has what to work with: especially last year when over 50 of the Tigers’ games were against divisional opponents who finished the season either at or below .500. Whether or not Hinch is ultimately responsible for an unimpressive 2023, if the core and the team’s young talent fail to take a step forward, Hinch may be made into the fall-man.


Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante/Unsplash | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10) on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)


Gabe Goralnick

A senior at Yeshiva University studying political science and a diehard baseball lover from the Big Apple. He's either watching baseball, writing about baseball, or cooking some awesome food.

One response to “Who is on the Hot Seat Entering this Season?”

  1. Preller should be for detroying the farm system he ruined the orgination the be sellers at the deadline

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