Members of MLB front offices are as popular and well known as managers on many teams in today's games, but managers still play an important role in their teams' successes and failures. Here's a look at all 30 MLB managers from top to bottom entering the 2020 season.
Maddon's track record as a manager speaks for itself. He turned around the notoriously bad Rays franchise from 2006-2014 with four playoff appearances and five 90-plus win seasons and did it all with a fun style and innovation that included shifts, defensive flexibility and offensive platoons. He carried that style over to the Cubs, winning at least 92 games in four straight seasons and finally breaking the Cubs curse with a World Series victory in 2016. However, Chicago opted to move on after Maddon's team went 84-78 last year, and he hopes to get back on track, leading the Angels this year.
Cash continues to establish himself as one of the brightest minds and out-of-the-box thinkers among MLB managers. He took over a rebuilding Rays squad in 2015 and has won at least 90 games in back-to-back seasons despite playing in one of the most difficult divisions in the game, innovating in the process with platoons, shifts, four-man rotations and the opener. The Rays won a wild-card spot last year and could be on the cusp of much bigger things under his leadership.
Francona's managing career started off slowly with four lackluster years in Philadelphia, but he developed quite a resume in eight seasons leading the Red Sox. He won at least 86 games in each season and made the playoffs five times, winning the World Series twice and finally ending Boston's World Series drought in his first season. After his time ran out in 2011, Francona took over the Indians two years later and has made the playoffs in four of his seven seasons, appearing in the World Series in 2016. Francona has taken to the new school of numbers-centric managing but also still has some of the old school, commanding respect and getting the most out of his players.
A pesky utilityman during his playing career, Counsell's aggressive style is reflected in his managing success. His Brewers have won at least 86 games in three consecutive seasons and have made the playoffs in back-to-back years despite rosters that could hardly be described as top-shelf in the NL Central. Under his watch, Christian Yelich has become arguably the best offensive player in the game, and Milwaukee has successfully used its bullpen as aggressively as any team.
Girardi managed the Marlins in 2006 before taking over the Yankees two years later, and he held that job from 2008-2017. New York regularly exceeded expectations and had one of the greatest rosters in recent memory when it won the World Series in 2009. He made the playoffs in six of his 10 years in New York, but a perception that Girardi couldn't develop young players eventually got him fired. He will try to prove his worth again after taking over a talented Phillies team this year.
Boone comes from a managerial pedigree as the son of former manager Bob Boone, and he's off to a terrific start to his career with back-to-back 100-plus-win seasons. New York was able to get through numerous injuries last year to win 103 games but ran out of gas in the playoffs. Boone was hired with the impression that he could handle the media after a career in broadcasting and also due to his openmindedness with young players. It's fair to say that he's done well in those areas so far.
Shildt entered a tough situation in 2018, taking over the Cardinals after Mike Matheny was fired at midseason. He turned the team around and made a playoff push by going 41-28 to close out the year. His first full season was even better, winning a competitive NL Central at 91-71 and upsetting the Braves in the NLDS despite major issues in his lineup and starting rotation.
Melvin is now one of the most experienced managers in the game, with parts of 16 seasons under his belt between Seattle, Arizona and Oakland. He's now been with the A's for nine seasons and has managed to make the playoffs in five of those years. His on-field tactics haven't been as innovative as one would expect given the sabermetrics-driven A's front office, but he's regularly exceeded expectations with the low-budget squad.
Baldelli's track record as a manager is unscathed, leading the Twins to an AL Central division title and 101-win season in 2019. That was a full 23-win improvement from the previous season for Minnesota, and Baldelli wasn't at all hesitant to use what he learned while in Tampa Bay, with fluid bullpen roles and a quick hook for his starting pitchers. It will be interesting to see if Baldelli's team can claim the division again, with the AL Central getting tougher in 2020 following the White Sox additions.
Roberts is beloved by his players and has won four consecutive NL West titles, appearing in two World Series. That said, the Dodgers are one of the few organizations that can claim disappointment for not winning a title over that period, and Roberts' befuddling playoff moves (such as using Clayton Kershaw in a critical spot as a reliever in last year's NLDS) draw much of that blame.
When the Astros were in disarray this spring due to the sign-stealing scandal, they turned to one of the most experienced managers they could find. Baker has 22 years of managing among four different teams, with his most recent stop being Washington in 2016-2017. Baker is universally well liked by his players and has made the playoffs nine times but is often criticized for his playoff decisions and old-school managerial style.
Black has led his teams to the playoffs only twice in 12 seasons between San Diego and Colorado, but those teams have regularly exceeded expectations. In particular, the former pitching coach has gotten the most out of his pitching staffs, guiding the Rockies to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2017 and 2018.
Arizona has regularly been a surprise team during Lovullo's three seasons. The D-Backs won a wild-card spot with 93 wins in 2017, regressed to 82 wins in 2018 and won 85 games in 2019 despite losing starters Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Zack Greinke prior to or during that season. He's also overseen strong player development from Ketel Marte, Nick Ahmed, Robbie Ray and many others on the roster.
Washington was one of the most disappointing teams in baseball during Martinez's first season as manager, in 2018, finishing 82-80. Many fans were calling for his head when the Nats were 24-33 at the end of May last year, but the team was able to turn its fortunes around, winning an NL wild-card spot and eventually the World Series. Martinez is hardly at fault for what was a thin bullpen last year, and he certainly deserves props for how he used it in the playoffs. Still, his elite starting rotation led by Max Scherzer could mask almost any managerial blemishes.
Atlanta was developing one of the top farm systems in the game when Snitker was promoted in 2016, and the Braves became competitive much faster than expected. They have now won back-to-back NL East titles, and Snitker has apparently earned the respect of his players. Snitker has mostly taken a traditional approach but hasn't done anything to get in the way.
Mattingly led the Dodgers to five winning seasons and three NL West titles in five years but was ousted following the 2015 season. His time in Miami has been much more challenging, failing to finish .500 in his first two years before the Marlins sold the team and their talented major leaguers. The Marlins lost 98 games in 2018 and 105 games last year, but it's hard to put the blame on Mattingly given what he had to work with.
Renteria has been acclaimed for his work with young players as manager of both the Cubs (2014) and White Sox (2017-2019). He's never won more than 73 games on those rebuilding teams, but the expectations have been raised on the South Side in 2020 after an aggressive offseason.
Gardenhire had a long run in Minnesota from 2002-2014, winning six AL Central titles during that time. However, the Twins really struggled in the last four years of his tenure, and he hasn't had anything to work with in his two seasons with Detroit. Even with the lack of talent, Detroit's 114 loss season in 2019 is a black eye for Gardenhire's resume.
Servais took over the M's in 2016, leading them to an 86-win season and second-place finish. They finished third place the next two years, including 89 wins in 2018, before Seattle blew up the roster last offseason given the obstacles in its division. Seattle has seemed generally happy with Servais' work, but it could be a while before he's able to dig the team out of its current rut — if he gets enough time to do it.
Matheny succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa in St. Louis, guiding the team to a World Series appearance in 2013 and the playoffs in his first four seasons. However, it became clear that the Cardinals hung on to Matheny for too long, as the team disappointed in 2016 (86-76) and 2017 (83-79) before he was fired in 2018 with a 47-46 record, after often seeming uncreative and set in his ways for a deteriorating roster that needed a jolt. He took over in K.C. this year following Ned Yost's retirement.
Woodward's 78-84 performance in 2019 as a first-year manager greatly exceeded expectations, as the Rangers continued to develop their young talent. In a new-school MLB, Woodward has blended the old school, particularly with his willingness to ride his best starting pitchers, Lance Lynn and Mike Minor.
Kapler disappointed in two years managing the Phillies, particularly with a .500 finish last year after the team added Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura. In retrospect, it would have been tough for any manager to succeed with the bullpen injuries Philadelphia suffered, but Kapler was also criticized from the beginning of his tenure for his on-field moves. His approach can be described as different, if nothing else, and he enters a rebuilding situation in San Francisco that probably better fits where he is in his development.
Roenicke got four-plus seasons in Milwaukee, from 2011-2015, leading the team to 96 wins and an NL Central title in his first season but failing to finish better than third place in any other year. Milwaukee shed pitching talent for much of his tenure but also didn't match expectations most of the time. Boston promoted Roenicke to manager this spring, after Alex Cora was fired due to his involvement in the Astros sign stealing scandal, hoping to bring some stability to a roster that's also in a semi-rebuild after trading Mookie Betts and David Price.
Bell is a second-generation manager, as his father, Buddy Bell, managed nine seasons for three different organizations. David's first year in Cincinnati didn't go well with a 75-87 finish despite a run differential of only negative-10. The Reds have gone all-in on new school pitching development methods and have much higher expectations in 2020 after a busy offseason.
Montoyo guided blue chip young talent in his first year as Toronto's manager, finishing 67-95 with a squad that had major pitching issues. His players have clearly enjoyed playing for him, but the jury will be out for some time while Toronto rebuilds.
Hyde had arguably the worst roster in MLB last year, and the team performed accordingly with a 54-108 finish. It's difficult to put much of the blame on Hyde or accurately judge him at this point.
The Mets have had an eventful offseason, hiring Carlos Beltran as manager before letting him go due to his involvement in the Astros sign-stealing scandal. He does have some lower-level experience, managing both in the Dominican and the minors, and he is the son of legendary MLB manager Felipe Alou.
Ross retired as a Cub following the 2016 season and has served as a broadcaster for ESPN before getting his shot as a manager. He replaces the venerable Joe Maddon and could have a learning curve given his lack of experience. The Cubs are hopeful Ross learns quickly, much the same way Aaron Boone did for the Yankees two years ago.
Shelton was hired by the Pirates to replace the fired Clint Hurdle, inheriting a team coming off a 69-win seaon. He has coached in MLB since 2005, serving as a hitting coach, quality control coach and most recently a bench coach before finally getting his shot with a revamping Pittsburgh team.
Tingler enters the dugout after serving as a player development field coordinator and assistant general manager for the Rangers. He also briefly served as a manager in the Dominican Winter League. His experience with player development will be an asset for a young Padres roster that has several top prospects yet to arrive.
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