Baseball season is finally underway, and the dust has settled after a wild opening month that saw several contenders crash and burn. About 40 games in, teams have steadied things out, and we have a better idea of who’s real and who’s not.
One of the biggest factors of success comes from the dugout and the leader of the teams: managers, skippers, whatever name you want to give. Here’s a ranking of all the big-league managers, based on how much they help their teams and what skills they have to offer.
30. Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles
Brandon Hyde wasn’t exactly put in an advantageous position in his first year as a manager. Like last season, these Orioles aren’t really designed to win baseball games. Hyde appears to be doing a decent job of keeping everyone’s head up, but a truly atrocious run differential, it’s hard to rank him much higher. It isn’t about this year for Baltimore, and Hyde has potential, but at this time he belongs at the bottom of these rankings.
29. Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins
Similar to Hyde, it’s no secret this team has no intention of winning this year. The Marlins are, again, an embarrassingly bad team. But the manager can only do so much when the team’s higher-ups sell off anything resembling talent as soon as they can.
Don Mattingly showed he was at least a decent manager when leading the Dodgers to multiple winning seasons, but the last two at the head of the Marlins haven’t done much to improve his reputation. The Marlins are the worst team in baseball by a wide margin, and only Mattingly’s previous experience prevents him from dropping into the bottom slot.
28. Dave Martinez, Washington Nationals
Dave Martinez is as on the hottest seat any manager can be less than halfway through May. He was brought in to bring the Nats to the next level, but spearheaded a .500 effort in 2018 that resulted in the team’s generational talent departing for Philadelphia.
They’ve stumbled out of the gate this year, in part because of Martinez’s hesitance to yank his starters and go to the bullpen when the going gets tough. He’s gotten the short end of the stick in terms of injury luck, and the upper management for Washington certainly hasn’t done him any favors, but the outlook isn’t bright here. Martinez may yet succeed in a different situation, but right now it seems that his time in the Nationals’ dugout is limited.
27. Chris Woodward, Texas Rangers
Chris Woodward’s rookie season as the Rangers manager has generally gone smoothly. Texas is hovering around .500 early on in the season, and Woodward’s patience in regards to Rougned Odor has paid off at this early junction, but will need to navigate the incoming rough waters as their hopeful future closer, Jose Leclerc, tries to find his way. Woodward hasn’t shown enough yet to rank particularly high on a list like this, but the early returns are pretty solid.
26. David Bell, Cincinnati Reds
David Bell’s first season as a manager has gotten off to a bit of a tough start. The Reds currently sit at 17-22, but have a +30 run differential. There have been more than a few frustrating losses brought about by Bell’s usage of relievers, and his constant lineup shuffling has had its ups and downs. Overall, the Reds should have a better record and Bell’s willingness to experiment are pluses, but he needs to prove those experiments work before he can rise much higher.