Don Mattingly Non-committal on Returning to Manage

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Don Mattingly is in the seventh and final year of his contract with the Miami Marlins. It’s been a hot topic for the  Marlins fans sd this could be Mattingly’s most disappointing season—and after such high expectations. Although he has a great manner with young players and is very positive and tolerant, this team had high expectations for this season, and the players have not responded and performed as hoped.

Don Mattingly

Seven Seasons of Mediocrity

Mattingly holds a 423-553 record They did have a couple of competitive seasons, 2016 and 2017, when they won 79 and 77, respectively. But there were high expectations for 2018, but those hopes faded early. Miami lost 98 games, and not much changed in 2019 when they lost 105 games.

After making the playoffs with a 31-29 record in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, they lost 95 games in 2021.

No Favors for Mattingly 

Marlins management has not done Mattingly any favors to help him be successful. During his tenure, they traded away many players, including J.T. Realmuto, Giancarlo Stanton, and Christian Yelich. Their farm system has been ranked as low as 29 out of 30 teams (2015 and 2016). For 2017, they were ranked last and had no young pitchers ready or even developed to step up and help out the big-league club.

High Expectations 2022

Before Opening Day 2022, there were promising expectations that Miami could contend for a playoff spot. April was positive, going 12-8. May, however, was dismal. Since then, they are 38-56 through Sunday’s game, including a disappointing 23-32 home record. They have been shut out 12 times and are six games under .500 in one-run games.

Key Injuries

Injuries have not helped. There is only so much Mattingly can do with what his options are. Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been out for an extended period, and three more key players, Brian Anderson, Garrett Cooper, and Max Meyer, also have to sustain nagging injuries.

The injuries don’t stop there. Daniel Castano, concussion; Jorge Soler, back spasms; Avisaíl García, hamstring; Trevor Rogers, back spasms; Anthony Bender, strained elbow; season; Paul Campbell, strained elbow; and Cole Sulser, strained back.

He also lost four players for the season—Sean Guenther, Cody Poteet and Meyer are all out for the 2022 season with Tommy John surgery, and Jordan Holloway will miss the remainder of the season due to arthroscopic elbow surgery.

Yes, all teams have injuries. But winning is pretty difficult when they happen to key players and your farm system players are young and inexperienced.

Miami Is Not Happy

It’s no secret that the Marlins organization is unhappy with how this season has gone. One firing has already happened. Gary Denbo, the director of player development and scouting, was let go in June. More firings could come from all levels, coaches (including minor league coaches), managers, etc. Even players could be on their way out as part of a continuing rebuild or retooling.

Rest of the Season

Will Don Mattingly return to manage the Miami Marlins in 2023? The only way he returns next season is if this team plays competitive baseball over the final 47 games.

Let’s say they can play above .500 the rest of the season and get close to 78 wins or more. The front office could extend Mattingly. On the other hand, if they don’t play well, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the organization named a new manager during the off-season.

Final Thoughts 

The question of whether or not Don Mattingly returns to the Marlins begs the question of whether or not he even wants to return. If he and the Marlins part ways, he could find a home elsewhere. There could be many openings after the season ends. Another organization could interview him for their managerial opening due to the excellent way he works and manages younger players.

The end of the season will be an interesting one for this organization and its manager.

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Players/managers Mentioned:

Don Mattingly, J.T. Realmuto, Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Brian Anderson, Garrett Cooper, Max Meyer, Daniel Castano, Jorge Soler, Avisaíl García, Trevor Rogers, Anthony Bender, Paul Campbell, Cole Sulser, Sean Guenther, Cody PoteetJordan Holloway