The MLB saw a massive turnover for managers, with 10 of 30 teams replacing their old skippers. Only three managers who managed their team in 2015 are still the managers of that ballclub today. With the mass influx of new skippers in this young season, it’s time to try to rank them and see where each team might be headed with this new skipper.
#10: Luis Rojas, New York Mets
Where do I begin with this pick? Out of all MLB managers, he’s the worst one with a good roster. So lets start with the lack of knowledge when it comes to the bullpen. When you are up 8-2, if you give up a few runs, you go to your best arms and have as short a leash as possible. You want to WIN games, not just preserve your bullpen. How about batting Brandon Nimmo, who is 6th in OBP% in the entie league since 2018 (minimum 400 PAs) first in your lineup only four times in your first 10 games? This is a trainwreck and Rojas needs to turn things around before he loses the clubhouse and the fanbase.
#9 Derek Shelton, Pittsburgh Pirates
I don’t even think Shelton will be a bad manager, I just don’t have enough to say “He’s bad” or “It’s just his roster”. I need more time to look and truly determine what Derek Shelton is, but his 2-7 record doesn’t do him many favors. Do I believe he can move up as the Pirates farm system begins to improve over the next few years? Yes, but because of how fresh he is in the MLB compared to the other managers, he can’t be much higher than 8th.
#8 Ron Roenicke, Boston Red Sox
I don’t dislike Ron, and I think he’s a fine manager, but the Red Sox have gotten off to a horrible start and I don’t think Ron lasts more than two years here. I think as the Red Sox retool and reload they’ll get a younger manager to mesh with the clubhouse, but keep Roenicke in the organization. He’s just not a great manager and the team isn’t great, so I think he’s just a fill in for a couple of years.
#7 Joe Maddon, Los Angeles Angels
Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Angels who were poised to make a playoff push with 8 playoff spots are 3-7 and last in the AL West. Joe Maddon has blown leads and mismanaged the bullpen, which was why the Cubs let him go. Giving up four unanswered to the Mariners? Are you kidding me? For all the hype and his resume, Maddon should be doing better, and he’s going to be 7th for now.
#6 Mike Matheny, Kansas City Royals
“But they’re also 3-7! How is he better than Maddon?” is what people would ask without realizing: The Royals were a bottomfeeder in 2019 and currently have seven players on the COVID-19 list. Hunter Dozier who was the Royals’ second best hitter is part of those seven guys. Their two best pitchers according to fWAR were also on that list. He’s gotten this team to stick together and not fall apart or have an outbreak, and for that, he’s better than the previous managers.
#5 Dusty Baker, Houston Astros
This team is off to a 5-4 start which is solid, but solid isn’t good enough for this team. While I know it’s going to be hard for Dusty Baker to manage this team amid their controversies, he hasn’t been half-bad. I don’t think he’s a long-term option, but for what he is? He’s a fine manager for this ballclub, just not anything special.
#4 Joe Girardi, Philadelphia Phillies
While yes, the Phillies are 1-2, I think Joe has managed the lineup and bullpen better than Gabe Kapler. I only have him at #4 because of the really small sample size, and if he had managed say 8-10 games, I’d have him probably at #2 or #3 on this list.
#3 David Ross, Chicago Cubs
I don’t think David Ross has been revolutionary for the Cubs, but he’s been a net neutral for this team. That’s really all they needed in my opinion, as the Cubs have a very good roster. Joe Maddon kept overmanaging and poorly using relievers which cost the Cubs games. David Ross, on the other hand, just manages when he needs to, and while they aren’t always excellent choices, the Cubs talent usually holds out. I think Ross will be what the Cubs need to win the NL Central.
#2 Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants
Well this is certainly a surprise ain’t it? How often does the MLB see their discarded managers turn it around so quickly? After being fired by the Phillies due to incompetence, Gabe Kapler has actually done alright with the Giants. So far he has a 5-5 record with a god-awful roster. If this team manages to win 30 games, I would’ve say give Gape Kapler NL Manager of the Year, but in his own division he is a manager who has done wonders so far.
#1 Jayce Tingler, San Diego Padres
Tingler has impressed me a ton so far, as the Padres are 6-4 and I think it’ll only get better. The real problem has been the pitching, which has been getting shelled. This however is not too bad, as it’s 4.70 team ERA is coupled with a 3.89 SIERA. This means the teams pitching will improve overtime according to advanced metrics. The offense has also been pretty good, as while Manny Machado is off to a meh start, they’ve still been 10th in wRC+ and 5th in walk%, so this team looks poised to make the playoffs and maybe shock the world.
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