Managers to Watch for the Manager of the Year Award
The conclusion of the regular season is nearing. That means that besides the focus being on the postseason, discussions surrounding candidates for the various awards begin. One of those awards is the Manager of the Year Award.
Often times, the Manager of the Year ends up being awarded to a manager that far exceeds expectations or ends up leading a team to the postseason that looks virtually like it had no chance of making it to begin with. Although this season is only a 60-game season, those standards still stand true.
In fact, the winners of the Manager of the Year Award in the National and American Leagues might be even more deserving this year. Considering all of the challenges surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, the variance in the schedule, and everything else in between, it all deserves merit in this conversation.
With that being said, here are three Manager of the Year candidates from both the National and American Leagues.
National League Candidates
1. Jayce Tingler (San Diego Padres)
When you look at the rest of the National League landscape, San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler is an easy favorite. Tingler has done a tremendous job of leading the Padres to a postseason berth this year. At the end of play Monday, San Diego had won eight consecutive games for the first time since 2012. Additionally, it would be the first postseason that the Padres played in since 2006 when they squared off against the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Divisional Series.
2. Gabe Kapler (San Francisco Giants)
Going into this season, the San Francisco Giants weren’t even expected to be in the conversation for a postseason berth. However, heading into play on Tuesday, the Giants would hold the eighth seed in the National League. A big reason behind that has been due to players like Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski, but you can’t discount the leadership of Gabe Kapler either. If the Giants get into the postseason race, anything is possible especially since they would be the second Wild Card team.
3. Don Mattingly (Miami Marlins)
The Miami Marlins might be the best story in all of baseball this year. After facing an outbreak related to the Coronavirus at the start of the year, the Marlins have vastly exceeded expectations. If the postseason were to begin today, Miami would be the second best team in the National League East and hold the fifth seed. A big part of the success of the young Marlins squad has been the leadership of Don Mattingly. Mattingly knows how to get the most out of players and that has shown this entire season.
American League Candidates
1. Rick Renteria (Chicago White Sox)
Switching over to the American League, the Chicago White Sox have really come out in a big way this season. At the start of play Tuesday, the White Sox had a 31-16 record and held a two-game lead in the American League Central over the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. Chicago always aimed for 2020 as being the year that the team started a new winning philosophy, but Rick Renteria sure has this team on the right track moving forward.
2. Charlie Montoyo (Toronto Blue Jays)
Prior to the start of this season, the Toronto Blue Jays were a sexy pick among many to end up with a postseason berth in the American League. To date, that has certainly been the case and in many ways they have far exceeded expectations. As with any young team, they have their hiccups, but overall things have been great for the team that calls Buffalo home this year. While talent plays into the equation, the leadership provided by Charlie Montoyo does as well.
3. Kevin Cash (Tampa Bay Rays)
Just this past weekend, the Tampa Bay Rays became the first team in baseball to reach the 30-win plateau. What makes that even more amazing is the fact that they did it with so many players on the Injured List. At one point, the Rays had more than ten pitchers on the IL and were starting to scramble. However, as is always the case when the pressure mounts, Kevin Cash has found a way to keep the team focused. Going into play Tuesday, the Rays had a four-game lead in the American League East.
While the 2020 regular season has brought plenty of surprises, there are bound to be surprises when it comes to who ends up winning the awards after the postseason. The two recipients of the Manager of the Year Award will be no exception. Although, all six of the names listed above are worthy winners in their own cause and deserve a lot of merit in the conversation.
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