SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres are pushing back on a report they plan to fire two-year manager Jayce Tingler after a disappointing 2021 season, though the coach’s future with the club appears in doubt.
Jon Heyman, an MLB Network insider who breaks some of the game’s biggest scoops, reported around 12:30 p.m. Saturday that Tingler “will be relieved of managerial duties.”
But within minutes, Dennis Lin, a beat writer at The Athletic who covers the club, tweeted a statement from a team spokesperson calling the report “completely premature.”
“Per A.J. Preller, no decision has been made on Jayce (Tingler’s) employment status at this time,” Lin quoted the unnamed spokesperson as saying. “Heyman’s report is completely premature. He will be managing our game today.”
MLB.com Padres writer A.J. Cassavell echoed that sentiment.
While it remains to be seen whether Heyman’s report is ultimately accurate, news of Tingler’s release would not come as a complete surprise to San Diego sports observers.
The coach, hired in 2019, guided the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 in his first year leading the club. In that pandemic-shortened season, the Friars fell short of a deep postseason run, but the playoff berth and the team’s young stars helped energize a San Diego fanbase that was hungry for a winning team.
The 2021 season started with more promise for the Friars, who were 53-40 at the All Star Break even after they began to slump a bit at the end of the first half. They once looked like potential National League West contenders — and at least a lock for Wild Card contention. But then the Padres entered a tailspin, and they head into the postseason next week on the outside looking in.
As the Padres’ season soured, so did some of the popular sentiment around Tingler, whose managing was increasingly questioned. That included a high-profile piece for The Athletic that scrutinized both the manager and Padres General Manager A.J. Preller.
It’s unclear where they might set their sights for a future skipper if the Friars do fire Tingler. The team remains loaded with talent — led by National League MVP contender Fernando Tatis Jr. — but the 2021 season has left a bitter taste in the mouth of San Diego baseball fans.
Check back for updates to this developing story.