Major League Baseball Midseason Awards: National League
Manager of the Year: Bud Black
There are a few solid choices for NL MOY. Dave Roberts, Craig Counsell and Torey Lovullo all have done well with their respective clubs so far. With that said, what Black has done in his first season with the Colorado Rockies, particularly with the pitching staff, is superb.
As all baseball fans know, Coors Field is not an easy place to pitch. That is why, despite consistently producing one of the league’s best offensive attacks, the Rockies haven’t had a lot of success in their first quarter century of baseball. With household names like Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez at his disposal, Black has managed to get the Rockies pitching staff to respectability. As of the break, Colorado’s rotation ranked seventh in the majors with a WAR of 10.2. The Rockies have a team ERA of 4.04 and FIP of 3.99.
Although those aren’t the greatest statistics in the world, they are a far cry from where this pitching staff usually is, and Black deserves a lot of credit for that. Here is an excellent piece detailing what Black and the Rockies coaching staff have done to make these improvements. In short, the Rockies pitchers throw a lot of breaking balls.
Although Colorado has cooled down as of late, it’s playoff probability is still high and the Rockies are well on track to make their first postseason appearances since 2009.
Bud Black is a brilliant baseball mind, and it’s wonderful to see that on display in Denver. Meanwhile, the franchise that gave him the axe two years ago, the San Diego Padres, are 12.5 games behind Black’s new team in the NL West. Nice going.