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Grading All 30 MLB Managers: 2016 National League Edition

It has become an annual tradition around these parts for me to offer up my thoughts on each and every manager in the MLB. First, this started as a ranking and became one of our most popular posts. Since then, the manager reporting has morphed into a grading system on an A-F scale, with A reserved for only the cream of the managerial crop and F standing in for ‘Should be Fired.’

As usual with my mid-winter grades, I won’t offer any score for first time managers, but if a guy has managed elsewhere in the majors he’s fair game, even if this will be his first season with his current team.

[colored_box color=blue]NL East[/colored_box]

Terry Collins, New York Mets: Collins has done an amazing job with the Mets. When he took over a few years ago, the team was on track to bottom out and start a lengthy rebuilding process. While there were a couple years there where the Mets were less than competitive, they never sunk to the depths once feared and now that they have some talent, Collins has guided them all the way to the World Series. Grade: A

Dusty Baker, Washington Nationals: This was a bit of a questionable hire by the Nats. It was obviously time for Matt Williams to go but I’m not certain Dusty Baker was the right bet. Sure, he’s had some success in Cincinnati, Chicago, and San Fransico but he’s been out of the game a while now and as the young Nats head into a real transitional period in terms of team construction, Dusty doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice to guide them. Grade: C

Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins: I’ve never been a big Mattingly-as-manager fan. I think he got the job in LA before he was ready and I think some really really talented Dodger teams have wildly underperformed under his leadership. We’ll see how he does in Miami with a completely different style of roster. Perhaps he has learned from his first managerial experience and will be much better with a fresh start, but I tend to doubt it. Grade: C

Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves: The Braves are in the midst of a rebuild and don’t expect to contend this year. Last year, in the first year of the full on tear-down, there was much less of a spotlight on Gonzalez as Atlanta played very few important games. However, in the times when he has been the focus, Fredi has not fared well. Grade: C

Pete Mackanin, Philadelphia Phillies: Mackanin has a lot of minor league managing experience and has served as an interim manager 3 times in the MLB, which is encouraging. But without a full year at the helm of his own team, I’m not going to try to pass judgment on him. Grade: Incomplete

[colored_box color=blue]NL Central[/colored_box]

Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals: Matheny gets some flak for his bullpen management but we’re getting to the point with him that the results he’s getting are starting to overshadow everything else. This past year, he guided the Cards to 100 wins and the best record in baseball despite missing a ton of key players to serious injuries. Grade: B+

Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates: Hurdle and Pirates are starting to get stuck in the rut of winning just enough games to make the playoffs but not being good enough to actually do anything once they get there. Further, their window seems to be closing. This season will be a big test for Hurdle as the excited optimism that once surrounded this team fades. Can he still guide them to the playoffs? Grade: B+

Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs: The NL Manager of the Year guided the Cubs from the basement to the NLCS in his first season on the job. Given the amount of attention he got as a free agent last winter, baseball seems to think he has a magic touch. His results don’t really do anything to disprove that theory. Grade: A

Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers: Counsell took over in May after the Brewers slow start and didn’t really do much to turn things around. Again though, without a full season of work, I’ll pass on offering a grade. Grade: Incomplete

Bryan Price, Cincinnati Reds: I was shocked when the Reds announced they were hanging on to Price this winter. He seemed over matched on the field and in the press room, once launching into a profanity laced tirade at a reporter. Not exactly the picture of competence. Grade: F

[colored_box color=blue]NL West[/colored_box]

Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers: This will be Roberts’ first managerial experience. I’ll offer an assessment next winter. Grade: Incomplete

Bruce Bochy, San Fransico Giants: One of baseball’s steadiest hands, Bochy and the Giants we’re really relevant in 2015. They’ve sunk nearly $300 Million into revamping their pitching staff and roster, but we know their manager will be able to withstand any potential shortcomings with those signings; he’s got one of the safest jobs in the sport. Grade: A-

Chip Hale, Arizona Diamondbacks: Last year was Hale’s first at the helm of the Dbacks and he did a decent job. The organization thought that they could compete for the division in 2015, but they were clearly wrong event before the season started. This year, Hale will have more talent to work with, we’ll see how he does. Grade: B

Andy Green, San Diego Padres: This will be Green’s first shot at managing in the majors. We’ll check back next year. Grade: Incomplete

Walt Weiss, Colorado Rockies: Walt has been at it with the Rockies for 3 years now and has never even come close to guiding a winning team. Given the recent history of the organization, though, its hard to tell if that’s Weiss or the Rockies. Grade: C

-Max Frankel

Copyright © 2017 | Off The Bench Baseball

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