Posts Tagged ‘Managers’

Managers, Managing

Posted: October 1, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball
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How many wins does a good manager get his baseball team through a 162 game season? Now if you have a bad or sub-par manager you can see moves he makes that cost your favorite team games during a season. I bet we could find a few Washington Nationals fans who could point out where a Matt Williams move lost a game for the team. So what quantifies a manager getting a win for his team. Sending up the right pinch hitter? Using the right relief pitcher? Or is it just something as simple as running the correct everyday line up out there for games? Now if any of these moves was messed up by a manager it could easily cost his team a game, but does doing them right count as that manager getting a win for his team. I’ve heard different debates about this and it seems to be that a good manager gets his team 5-7 wins a game and then in reverse a poor manager will lose his team 5-7 games a season. Now I’m fine with that number and I’m sure somewhere down the line there will be a saber-metric way to figure this out. While I haven’t had an issue with trying to decide how a manager wins a game for his team; what I am having an issue with is new managers getting quite a bit of praise for a teams improvement from one season to the next.

The Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs are two of the most improved teams from last season to this season and they both changed managers before the 2015 season. In 2014 the Astros finished 70-92 and went 59-79 before firing manager Bo Porter. Tom Lawless finished the season as manager and went 11-13. A.J. Hinch was hired as manager in the off season and the Astros are 84-75 right now and have a chance at the AL West title or possibly  getting a wild card spot. The Cubs where managed by Rick Renteria in 2014 and went 73-89. Renteria was let go by the Cubs when Joe Maddon became available and the Cubs are 93-65 right now and have clinched a National League wild card spot. My take is since neither Hinch or Maddon had anything to do with the 2014 versions of their teams they don’t get any credit for the teams improvement from year to year unless they where managing the season before. Neither Hinch or Maddon where with the team when free agents where signed or when trades where made. Now they should get all the credit in the world for how the team is playing right now, but the improvement from 2014 doesn’t go on their resume. Since I get all the Cubs news I can handle living in the Chicago suburbs let’s work with them and see how this works out.

In 2014 Wellington Castillo appeared in 110 games for the Cubs and was there #1 catcher. Castillo hit .237 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI’s. For the 2015 season the Cubs sent  Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Miguel Montero. Montero is hitting .248 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI’s in 111 games. there stats look pretty even, but Montero was brought in for his defense and pitch framing.  Castillo threw out 33% of runners trying to steal in 2014 while Monteo has thrown out 21% of runners trying to steal this season. This position looks pretty even from 2014 to 2015. In both 2014 and 2015 Anthony Rizzo was the Cubs 1st baseman. In 140 games Rizzo hit .289 with 32 home runs and 78 RBI’s. This season Rizzo is hitting .278 with 30 home runs and 95 RBI’s in 156 games. Rizzo has doubled his Hit By Pitch numbers this season; 15 in 2014 to 30 this season. Now Rizzo’s numbers are very similar from this season to last, but he wasn’t considered an MVP candidate in 2014. Now in 2014 Darwin Barney held down the 2nd base position until Javier Baez was brought up. Barney is a gold glove player, but hit .230 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI’s over 72 games. Baez played 52 games in 2014 and hit .169 with 9 home runs, 20 RBI’s and struck out 95 times. Starling Castro has been moved to 2nd base this season and seems to have established himself as the starter there. He played a total of 147 games hitting .269 with 11 home runs and 68 RBI’s. Now in 2014 Castro was the starting shortstop. Castro hit .292 with 14 home runs and 65 RBI’s, but also committed 15 errors in 133 games. Addison Russell has taken over at shortstop in 2015 after being the starting 2nd baseman in the beginning of the season. Russell is hitting .241 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI’s spending most of the season as the 9th place hitter. Russell has made 12 errors on the season. Baez has played in 24 games as September call up hitting .286 with 1 home run and 4 RBI’s and has struck out 20 times. In 2014 Luis Valbuena was the Cubs everyday 3rd baseman. Valbuena hit .249 with 16 home runs in 51 RBI’s in 149 games. Kris Bryant is the 3rd baseman for the 2015 season and has hit .279 with 26 home runs and 99 RBI’s in 148 total games this season. In 2014 the outfield was a combination of Chris Coghlan who played in 125 games; hit .283 with 9 home runs and 41 RBI’s.  Arismendy Alcantara hit .205 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI’s in 70 games. Nate Schierholtz appeared in 99 games hitting .192 with 6 home runs and 33 RBI’s while Junior Lake played in 108 games hitting .211 with 9 home runs and 25 RBI’s. The 2015 outfield is a little different. Coghlan is still in it hitting .246 with 16 home runs and 46 RBI’s in 144 total games. Dexter Fowler has played in 153 games and is hitting .248 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Jorge Soler is hitting .262 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI’s in 100 games and Kyle Schwarber has added a .247 average with 16 home runs and 43 RBI’s over 66 games mot of them as an outfielder. Offensively the team is close in some categories, but the outfield is much better in 2015 than 2014.

Here’s the 2014 starting rotation. Travis Wood 31 starts 8-13 with an ERAof 5.03. Edwin Jackson 27 starts 6-15 with an ERA of 6.33. Jake Arrieta 25 starts 10-5 with an ERA  of 2.53. Kyle Hendricks 13 starts 7-2 with an ERA of 2.46 and Tsuyoshi Wada 13 starts 4-4 with an ERA of 3.25. Remember Jason Hammel and  Jeff Samardzija were traded during the 2014 season. The 2015 starting rotation looks like this. Jon Lester 32 starts 11-12 with an ERA of 3.34. Arrieta has made 32 starts and is 21-6 wit an ERA of 1.82. Hendricks has made 31 starts is 7-7 with an ERA of 4.09. Hammel was resigned in the off season and has made 30 starts and is 9-7 with an ERA of 3.86. Dam Haren was traded for to fill the 5th starter spot for the team and in his 10 starts is 3-2 with an ERA of 4.30. Which rotation would you like to have?

The 3 main bullpen arms in 2014 where Pedro Strop who pitched in 65 games and had an ERA of 2.21 with 2 saves. Justin Grimm made 73 appearances and had an ERA of 3.78 and was 5-2. Hector Rondon took over as closer and pitched in 64 games saving 29 and posting an ERA of 2.42. In 2015 Strop has pitched in 74 games and has an ERA of 3.00 and 3 saves. Grimm has pitched in 60 games and has an ERA of 2.08 and has 3 saves. Jason Motte took over the closer role for a while and saved 6. He has an ERA of 3.91; he also has a 8-1 record in 57 games, but is currently on the disabled list. Rondon is still the main closer on the team and has pitched in 70 games picking up 28 saves and has an ERA of 1.72.

I’m going to say this one more time. I have no issues with a new manager getting credit for how his team is doing on the field that season, but it’s when they start to give him credit for the great improvement the team is having from the season before. As you can tell by what I wrote there are different players brought in both rookies and free agents. Players improve or decline from season to season and it’s really the front office that should be getting credit if a team makes a marked improvement from one season to the next when a new manager is hired. As always though it could just be me!

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