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Rodriguez Stands Out Among New Managers


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Rodriguez stands out among new managers

May, 12, 2011 12:41 PM ET

By Jim Bowden

 

Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez is the only one among those in their first or second year of managing who has a winning record. Rodriguez, 50, took over the Marlins on June 23 of last season after Marlins owner Jeff Loria, team president Admin Beinfest and GM Mike Hill relieved Fredi Gonzalez of his duties. Rodriguez went on to lead the Marlins to a 46-46 record the rest of the way and a third-place finish in the National League Eastern division.

 

Rodriguez, after a thorough managerial search, was given a one-year contract extension through the 2011 season, and the early returns are showing why the Marlins made a wise decision to give him a full season to prove himself.

Rodriguez has been magnificent in the handling of his bullpen, tweaking his lineups, and mixing and matching injured and slumping players, and dealing with holes at third base and in left field (the latter due to an injury to Logan Morrison). As Rodriguez said, “The good thing about this club is the versatility of the players.� My response is this: The good thing about this club is it has a manager who knows how to utilize the versatility of his players.

 

The Marlins are 21-15 and have the second-best record in the National League, trailing the best team in the league, the Philadelphia Phillies, by just three games. The top three in the rotation -- Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez -- are a combined 8-2, mainly because, unlike last year, the bullpen has been able to hold leads. Closer Leo Nunez is a perfect 12-for-12 in save opportunites, and he credits Gonzalez's belief in him as much as the improved location of his fastball and changeup.

 

The Marlins are third in the National League in runs scored and fifth in the league in OPS despite Hanley Ramirez's season-long slump, Morrison's stint on the disabled list, a rotation at third base involving Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms and Emilio Bonifacio, and Mike Stanton’s slow April start due to injury.

 

The pitching staff is sixth in runs allowed and fifth in WHIP, and that’s with the combined ERA of Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad being north of 6.00. Rodriguez has done a masterful job of mixing and matching his relief pitchers. Mike Dunn, Randy Choate and Brian Sanches all have ERAs under 2.00, while Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb and Clay Hensley have all been effective when healthy in bridging the gap to Nunez. Rodriguez has the knack of knowing the proper matchups to allow his bullpen to maximize success.

 

When the Marlins lost a few games, Rodriguez tweaked the lineup. Chris Coghlan would move to the second spot in the order and Bonifacio to the leadoff spot. When that didn’t work, Coghlan returned to the top Tuesday night, getting on base, scoring the first run and driving in the winning run against the division rival Phillies. Rodriguez, tweaks, adjusts, and wins.

 

Rodriguez is getting rave reviews from the players and the front office. Instant respect. Steady hand. He keeps the clubhouse calm. He instills confidence. He makes the Marlins play fundamentally sound baseball. Move the runners over, get them in, one at a time -- unless, of course, Stanton, Gaby Sanchez, Morrison or John Buck go yard.

 

Rodriguez is quickly becoming an early lead candidate for National League Manager of the Year, and the Marlins' front office has to be thinking about a contract extension for one of baseball's bright new managers.

 

There are six other active major league managers who are either in their first or second year of managing at the big league level. Here is the complete breakdown:

 

MANAGER YEAR W-L RECORD 1. Edwin Rodriguez, FLA 2 21-15 2. Don Mattingly, LAD 2 18-20 3. Kirk Gibson, ARI 2 15-20 4. Ron Roenicke, MIL 1 16-21 5. John Farrell, TOR 1 17-20 6. Mike Quade, CHC 2 16-19 7. Brad Mills, HOU 2 14-23

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/10674/edwin-rodriguez-leads-new-managers

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This is not a complaint, but I kinda wish Edwin would let Emilio run a bit more when he leads off an inning and gets on base. A few times this year, we have seen the speed of the lead-off man wasted at first base. To be fair though, Hanley ruined a chance for Boner to steal against the Phillies the other night by swinging at first pitch and popping out weakly to RF instead of giving Emilio a chance to get in scoring position with 0 outs

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This is not a complaint, but I kinda wish Edwin would let Emilio run a bit more when he leads off an inning and gets on base. A few times this year, we have seen the speed of the lead-off man wasted at first base. To be fair though, Hanley ruined a chance for Boner to steal against the Phillies the other night by swinging at first pitch and popping out weakly to RF instead of giving Emilio a chance to get in scoring position with 0 outs

 

Boni might be fast but has has shown he isnt good at stealing bases. I do think he should be stealing, but not with a sh*tty success rate.

 

But with dp-ball Hanley behind him, you gotta try once in a while

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".....and he credits Gonzalez's belief in him as much as the improved location of his fastball and changeup. "

 

Is this a typo? Do they mean to say he credits Edwin?

 

 

I would imagine so, yes. You know those Hisapnics, they all look alike or something.

I thought that only applied to asians...

 

That were the silliness I attempted to display.

 

Sometimes we failed on something, but Don't give up.

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This is not a complaint, but I kinda wish Edwin would let Emilio run a bit more when he leads off an inning and gets on base. A few times this year, we have seen the speed of the lead-off man wasted at first base. To be fair though, Hanley ruined a chance for Boner to steal against the Phillies the other night by swinging at first pitch and popping out weakly to RF instead of giving Emilio a chance to get in scoring position with 0 outs

 

 

 

I would guess Bonifacio has the green light.

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This is not a complaint, but I kinda wish Edwin would let Emilio run a bit more when he leads off an inning and gets on base. A few times this year, we have seen the speed of the lead-off man wasted at first base. To be fair though, Hanley ruined a chance for Boner to steal against the Phillies the other night by swinging at first pitch and popping out weakly to RF instead of giving Emilio a chance to get in scoring position with 0 outs

 

 

 

I would guess Bonifacio has the green light.

 

I saw a recent interview where Edwin said what Boni needs to work on is bunting and stealing. So I doubt he has a complete green light. That would mean he can go anytime he wants, and with the manager knowing that is a problem area I doubt Boni has that option. I would guess he has a yellow light, for lack of a better term. The numbers seem to bear this out. Hanley has a green light with 12 attempts, while Boni has 4 attempts.

 

Catch-22. He has to do it to learn it better. But vs certain pitcher/catcher tandems is far better suited for hit and run plays.

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Edwin is the best manager we have had since McKeon, without a doubt. I may quibble with this odd decision or that, but overall I agree with the moves he makes and hope he is the manager for some time to come.

 

 

Nobody's perfect, so yeah once in a while Edwin does something that leads to discussion here on the boards. So far, I like the overall job Edwin has done.

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This is not a complaint, but I kinda wish Edwin would let Emilio run a bit more when he leads off an inning and gets on base. A few times this year, we have seen the speed of the lead-off man wasted at first base. To be fair though, Hanley ruined a chance for Boner to steal against the Phillies the other night by swinging at first pitch and popping out weakly to RF instead of giving Emilio a chance to get in scoring position with 0 outs

 

 

 

I would guess Bonifacio has the green light.

 

I saw a recent interview where Edwin said what Boni needs to work on is bunting and stealing. So I doubt he has a complete green light. That would mean he can go anytime he wants, and with the manager knowing that is a problem area I doubt Boni has that option. I would guess he has a yellow light, for lack of a better term. The numbers seem to bear this out. Hanley has a green light with 12 attempts, while Boni has 4 attempts.

 

Catch-22. He has to do it to learn it better. But vs certain pitcher/catcher tandems is far better suited for hit and run plays.

 

Hopefully Emilio figures out basestealing. It was the Nats series that made me think of this. Riggleman has his guys very aggressive on the basepaths. When Boner got on, he just stayed there on first quite often.

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