Last year's Redbirds squad missed the postseason for the first time since 2010, and this year's team (45-47) hasn't been above .500 since June 1. The bouncebacks of startersMike Leake, Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha have been squandered by a squad that has drawn criticism for fundamental lapses and a bullpen that's been shaky at best. Matheny's handling of that unit, his lineup construction and his in-game maneuvers leave plenty of room for criticism; SI contributor Joe Sheehan recently ranked him 30th among current managers regarding his tactics and his handling of young players. Despite having been signed to a three-year extension last November, Matheny, like all managers, only has so much rope. It will run out long before his contract does.
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