MLB Managerial Changes for the 2017 Season
By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
This season, there will be only three new Major League Baseball managers. That's a little on the low side for most seasons. For example, last season, there were five managerial changes. And if some guys don't get their teams pointed in the right direction this season, that number could very well go up after the 2017 season. A managerial change is a sign of a new day, but also an admission of failure on some level. All new managers are taking over for teams that had a lot of issues, presumably not all of them tied to the limitations of the previous manager. Let's look at the new managers in baseball in 2017 and how they ended up in these spots.
Torey Lovullo (Arizona Diamondbacks): The 51-year old served as a bench coach for the Red Sox over the past several seasons. He has managerial experience in the minors, with ten seasons of being a skipper under his belt. A switch-hitting utility man who hung around in the bigs for a decade, despite getting very limited time, Lovullo takes over for Chip Hale after a rough 69-93 season in 2016. He also served as interim manager for 49 games for the Red Sox when manager John Farrell was undergoing cancer treatment in 2015. By all appearances a top-flight baseball man, Lovullo looks to get the Diamondbacks back into relevancy this season in the tough NL West.
Bud Black (Colorado Rockies): The former Padres skipper gets his second shot, as he takes over another NL West team in the Colorado Rockies. The 59-year old was fired as manager of the San Diego Padres during the 2015 season in his ninth season as the San Diego skipper. Among his highlights were winning Manager of the Year in 2010. And being just under .500 with a San Diego team that didn't put themselves in a good spot to win maybe wasn't all that bad, after all. Some of us older fans might remember Black as a pretty good pitcher who peaked in 1984 with 17 wins for the Royals. He inherits a good lineup in Colorado and we'll see if he can work his mojo with the pitching staff. He now looks to build on the Rockies' 75 wins last season.
Rick Renteria (Chicago White Sox): This will be the second go-around as a manager in Chicago for Renteria, who previously managed the Cubs for one season, going 73-89 in 2014. He now joins the Sox across town in an effort to lift them from the funk they've been in for the past 4 years. He replaces Robin Ventura and at 55, looks to stake his claim as a viable MLB manager. Renteria had a few cups of coffee as a player in the bigs in the late 80's into the early 90's before turning to coaching. He served for a long time under Bud Black on the Padres coaching staff, eventually graduating to the ranks of bench coach. He is familiar with the team, having served as Ventura's bench coach last season.
How Last Season's New Managers Fared:
Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers): The first-year manager of the Dodgers kept the team in good form, winning 91 games and the NL West. The Dodgers also were able to notch a postseason series win, eventually falling to the champion Cubs in 6 in the NLCS.
Don Mattingly (Miami Marlins): After leaving the Dodgers, Mattingly took over the Marlins, leading them to a respectable 79-82 record in 2016. It was the Marlins' highest win-total in 6 seasons, as they look for more improvement in 2017.
Andy Green (San Diego Padres): It's hard to call out Green for losing 6 wins from the previous season total en route to a letdown 68-94 finish in 2016, finishing last in the National League West. Green didn't have a lot to work with, as good players were shipped out at an alarming rate. We'll see what Green can come up with this season.
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Dusty Baker (Washington Nationals): Baker showed he still has it in 2016, adding 12 wins to the previous season's total and leading the Nationals to a big 95-win season and a divisional title. They fell in five to Dusty's old team the Dodgers in the NLDS, but things are looking up in Washington.
Scott Servais (Seattle Mariners): It seems hard to believe that the Mariners haven't been to the postseason since they won 116 games back in 2001. Servais had the Mariners in the mix for a while and things are looking up after a 10-win improvement last season where Servais led Seattle to 86 wins.