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Steve Sax fired by Arizona Diamondbacks, other coaches return

The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced most of the coaching staff have been asked to return for the 2014 season. But first-base coach Steve Sax won't be among them.


"The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the following members of the coaching staff have been asked to return for the 2014 season: Kirk Gibson, Don Baylor, Glenn Sherlock, Alan Trammell, Turner Ward and Matt Williams. Gibson, whose 290 wins rank third all-time in franchise history, will return for his fifth season with the D-backs, while Sherlock, the longest-tenured coach on the staff, will be back for his 17th season, Williams his fifth, Baylor and Trammell their fourth and Ward his second. Charles Nagy and Steve Sax will not return to the coaching staff."
-- Official team announcement

Nagy's departure had already been leaked by Nick Piecoro yesterday, and I can't say that the departure of Sax comes as any surprise. He replaced his predecessor, Eric Young, Sr., only a year ago, but the team's baserunning got worse this year, by just about every available metric. Fangraphs BsR (Baserunning Runs) stat had Arizona ranked 26th in the majors, at -10.5. Not that they were much better under Young (24th, -7.2), but having the worst stolen-base percentage certainly didn't inspire much confidence in his coaching abilities.

Perhaps more surprising is the lack of changes elsewhere. There had been speculation that just about everyone's job - save, probably, Kirk Gibson's - could be on the line for one reason or another. Matt Williams is widely rumored to be in line for the manager's job in Washington, and both the bullpen and hitting left something to be desired this season. We may still see Williams leave, but for now, he has been given a vote of confidence, despite the number of runners sent to die at home this year. Probably better for his managerial chances this way.