It happens every year, usually toward the middle of the summer. Senior team management and ownership begin to evaluate where their respective club sits in the standings, and what pieces are and are not working.
Yes, players will be traded, and prospects will be called up from the farm system. But several managers will be on the proverbial "hot seat," as their jobs could be in imminent jeopardy.
In 2012, there were two managerial changes during the regular season. The Houston Astros fired Brad Mills on August 18 (along with their hitting and first base coaches). And on September 27, the Indians released Manny Acta as manager.
This year, there seem to be a lot more managers on the bubble—some who have garnered lots of respect and success during their respective tenures. Here's a look at who is likely to stay and who is likely to leave the manger's chair this summer.
The 2013 season is Ron Gardenhire's 12th as the manager of the Minnesota Twins. And despite a number of successful campaigns, it could also be his final.
Gardenhire's Twins finished with winning records in all but one season from 2002-2010, including six first-place divisional finishes. Gardenhire also won seven AL Manager of the Year awards during that span.
However, the team finished last in the division each of the last two seasons, finishing with 99 and 96 losses respectively. And 2013 is not shaping up to be much better, as the club is in fourth place with a 37-48 record entering play on Monday.
The team could be looking at another sub-.500 finish, and with this being the last year on his contract, Gardenhire could be on the hot seat this summer.
I peg his chances of staying put for the rest of the season at about 75 percent. I'd like to think the Twins would do the right thing and let Gardenhire finish out what is likely his last season in Minnesota, after all he's done and brought to this team and the city.
It seems like a lifetime ago when the Anaheim Angels won the 2002 World Series behind manager Mike Scioscia. Scioscia, who has managed the Halos since the 2000 season, has been heaven-sent for the Angels.
Entering the 2013 season, Scioscia had 1,155 wins for the Angels, including five first-place finishes. But the 2013 season has been a bit of a struggle for his team.
After the team dished out monster contracts to the likes of Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, lofty expectations were set for Scioscia and the Angels to take the division by storm. But the AL West also features the powerful Texas Rangers, as well as the never-say-die Oakland A's.
So, entering play on Monday, the Angels sit in third place in the division with a 43-45 record. They are by no means out of contention, sitting 8.5 games behind the A's. But this was not the start to the season this team was expecting with the enormous payroll sitting on top of it.
Scioscia signed a 10-year contract extension prior to the 2009 season, potentially keeping him in Anaheim until 2018 (Scioscia has the right to opt out after the 2015 season). But if things don't turn around quickly for the Halos, the team may have no choice but to replace him with a more effective skipper. This team is expecting to win, and right now they are losing.
I'd say Scioscia has a 60 percent chance of sticking around the rest of the season, just for the shear fact of how successful he has been at the helm of the Angels.
The Kansas City Royals haven't finished with a winning record since the 2003 season. They haven't finished higher than third in their division since 1995. And since that second-place '95 season, the Royals have had eight different men serve as team manager.
Most recently, Ned Yost has been the skipper of the Royals since taking the team from Trey Hillman midway through the 2010 season. And for the most part, there were few expectations for Yost and his club to win—until this year that is.
With a core offensive group highlighted by Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, there was some hope that the Royals would emerge from the cellar of the AL Central and start to earn some respect.
But entering play on Monday, the Royals sit six games behind the division-leading Tigers and sport a 41-44 record, barely on the verge of respectability.
Meanwhile, Yost is in the final year of his contract, and if things don't turn around, he could be supplanted before season's end.
I give Yost a 40 percent chance of sticking around for the rest of the year, unless the Royals are able to string some victories together (aside from back-to-back wins on July 3 and July 4, the club has alternated wins and losses since June 23).
Unfortunately for Ron Roenicke, he is suffering from the phrase "You can't fire the players." Entering play on Monday, Roenicke's Milwaukee Brewers are owners of a 35-52 record and sit in last place in the NL Central.
Of course, the team has been (and will continue to be) without first baseman Corey Hart for the entire season. Former MVP Ryan Braun has also been out since the beginning of June and has no return timetable set.
Further, ace right-hander Yovani Gallardo has been highly inconsistent in 2013, with a 7-8 record and a 4.85 ERA. Former closer John Axford's ineffectiveness has also severely hurt the club.
Thus, despite a breakout campaign from outfielders Norichika Aoki and Carlos Gomez, as well as rookie shortstop Jean Segura, Roenicke's job as manager of the Brew Crew is certainly in jeopardy.
I'm giving him a 30-40 percent chance of sticking out the rest of the season.
Fortunately for Don Mattingly, his Los Angeles Dodgers have dramatically turned their season around with 12 wins in their last 15 games. The team now sits with a 42-45 record, good for second place in the NL West and 4.5 games off the pace, entering play on Monday.
Still, with the massive payroll this team has, it was expected that the Dodgers would have been on top of the division for the majority of the season. The team had to put the pedal to the metal just to get this "close" to the top.
Right now, as long as the Dodgers keep putting pressure on first-place Arizona, Mattingly's job is likely safe. But To say he is on thin ice would likely be an understatement.
Right now, I say he has a 51 percent chance of sticking with the team for the duration of the season. But that can quickly fall below the 50-50 mark.