MLB Manager Changes Report Card
It is 2020 as we are getting closer to start of spring training in the Majors as most teams report on February 11th or 12th(pitchers and catchers at least. With that being said I decided to grade the managerial changes for 2020 and make predictions on who will be the Managers for the Astros, Mets and Red Sox.
Royals (Mike Matheny): Matheny didn’t have to travel very far from were he coached before, as he joins the Cardinals in-state rival, the Kansas City Royals. I actually like the hire. Being a World Series Champion will help because he knows what its like as a manager to be in big games and also he brings a vetran presnece in the managerial role like his Royals predecessor, Ned Yost. However, Matheny is stuck on a team that is not playoff material yet and is in rebuild mode. That might deduct a grade because of that, but I think if Matheny can bring the Royals win total up to 65 to 70 wins and make some good moves in the next few years this may turn out to be a good move for KC. Grade: B-
Angels (Joe Maddon): Kind of came as a shock to some people that Joe Madden, who led the Cubs to their first World Series title in over 100 years, mutually parting ways with the Cubs, however he makes his return to the Angels this season. I believe this will be a great signing for the Angels, especially with a guy like Mike Trout who signed a multi-year extension with the Angels. With the life that Maddon brings to the clubhouse as a manager, there could be a big turn around coming for a Angels team that struggled in 2019 because of injury and the death of Tyler Skaggs. If everyone stays healthy, Maddon and his Angels are going to be in the Playoff Picture this season. Grade: A-
Cubs (David Ross): David Ross returns to the Cubs for the first time since he was with the 2016 World Series championship team as a player. This time around he’s a manager, as he leaves his commentating job at ESPN. I think this move is going to work out well for the Cubs. Since David Ross is on the younger end of the spectrum when it comes to managers, as well as him knowing most of the players on the Cubs team, chemistry will be at a high. Also, he had his time in the booth, giving him a different perspective of the game of baseball. With all of these positives mixed together, Ross could be very successful in his second time around in the Windy City. Grade: B+
Padres (Jayce Tingler): There is a lot of uncertainty behind the signing of Jayce Tingler. I believe if there rotation can stay consistent and if there bats produce the Padres can be a real threat. However, much of the team is young. That is why there’s a positive about Tingler though. In Texas, Jayce Tingler was the MLB Player Development Field Coordinator and was the Assistant GM, which means he was a guy who knows how to develop players and knows how to deal with front office moves. This signing all in all really could be a risk, but with the right development, it could turn out to be very beneficial for the Padres. Grade: C
Phillies (Joe Girardi): Joe Girardi left his job at MLB Network to come back and manage a team he beat to win him and the Yankees a World Series, the Phillies. I think the Phillies signing Girardi, was a safe pick for the Phils. We all know Girardi’s accolades and he knows what its like to lead a team to a title. I think this signing should turn out fine, however they have a big task to get to playoffs as they play in a tough NL East. Grade: A+
Giants (Gabe Kapler): Eh. That’s word I use to describe the signing the Giants made. It felt like they just took the best coach that was available that coached in 2019 and were fine with it. In Kapler’s two years in Philly, he didn’t do much, as he had no playoff appearances and didn’t make it last year with a team that was projected to. For Kapler this season, there probably isn’t too many expectations as the Giants are starting to go into a rebuild. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kapler only stays for 2-3 years. Grade: F+
Pirates (Derek Shelton):This a very intriguing signing for the Buccos. Shelton has been a coach for a while, as he was a coach with the Indians, Rays, Blue Jays, and Twins, with most of his time he was the hitting coach. Luckily for Shelton, the Pirates have hitters with guys like Josh Bell and Starling Marte in the lineup. The Pirates have a team that can make it to the playoffs in 2020 with a decent rotation and good lineup so it will be interesting to see how Shelton will do. Grade: C+
Teams Without A Manager
With these next 3 teams, they are all the teams that had a manager who was apart of the cheating scandal that happened with the Astros. There is no real good reason to why.
Astros (Will Venable): In my opinion I think the Astros go get a Manager whos younger and is a former and Venable fits that criteria. I believe Venable should be the next Astros manager. They need someone who can relate to the players and such and can almost act like one to in the Clubhouse. With Venable in charge, I think its going to be fun Astros team to be apart of.
Red Sox (John Gibbons): I believe Gibbons is the right guy for the Red Sox. Obviously Gibbons has ties with AL East as he was the former Manager with the Blue Jays and had success. This Red Sox team is already good and doesn’t need a ton of coaching and I think Gibbons brings leadership to the table as well.
Mets (Buck Showalter): The final team without a manager is the Mets. The Mets actually had a new one in Carlos Beltran until we all found he was involved with the scandal. The Mets need someone who can handle the media and can also be able to produce a winner. That’s why Showalter is the person. He brought a Orioles team success and really turned around the franchise in the mid-2010’s. I think with Showalter he fits well in New York and the Mets could have a better year than expected.