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MLB Today: The End of the Line for Bruce Bochy

September 30, 2019 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Jo Adell is the future of the Los Angeles Angels.
Jo Adell finished up his season strongly. (Asay Photography/Salt Lake Bees)

On Sunday, Bruce Bochy (presumably) managed his final game in the major leagues.

As the Giants manager since 2007, he’s guided San Francisco through some very good times (three World Series in five years between 2010 and 2014) and some tough spells (a current streak of three straight losing seasons).

Back in February, Bochy announced this would be his final season as a manager, and considering he’s been coaching or managing in the bigs since 1993, it’s been a damn good run.

In fact, he’s likely Hall of Fame bound, and certainly not because of what he did as a player. In nine seasons, Bochy recorded a 685 OPS, with just 26 homers and 75 runs scored. A .239 career hitter, the backup catcher managed a grand total of one steal.

But as a manager? That’s a different story.

Bochy was at helm for some bad teams, hence his losing record. But he’s won over 2,000 games, recently becoming just the 11th manager in history to do so. It’s a list that includes the creme de la creme: names like Connie Mack, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Sparky Anderson, Joe McCarthy and Walter Alston.

As part of a 12-year run as the team’s manager, Bochy led the Padres to the NL pennant in 1998, and then the trio of World Series titles with the Giants. Only five managers in big league history have won more championships.

He won the NL Manager of the Year way back in 1996, but never finished higher than second again.

Bochy has always been considered a very strong leader, but also very grounded. He’s especially known for being great with pitching staffs, particularly bullpens. We suppose given that he’s a former catcher, this is no great surprise.

If he’s truly done for good, Bochy deserves plenty of kudos for what he’s been able to accomplish, especially in San Francisco. He’s earned the right to go out on his own terms, even as he’s started to build the Giants back towards contention in recent years.

Interesting fact: Bochy is the only ex-Padre to be the team’s full-time manager (not simply doing the job on an interim basis).

Quick Hits

  • We recommended Angel outfield prospect Jo Adell just last month, and it’s worth taking a second look at this superb athlete who should soon be patrolling Angel Stadium (probably some time next year). While he had a slow start after being promoted to Triple-A, he finished strong, batting .340 with 11 runs, five RBI and a steal over the final 10 games. Adell’s extra-base pop at Double-A was off the charts, but kind of went AWOL at Triple-A. We’ll need to see that power return before he gets the call, but he’s going to be worth waiting for. Hell, Adell is already doing amazing things… in the virtual world (see video below).

  • Things just keep going downhill for Jake Faria. A promising looking starter in 2017, his role was reduced last year because of ineffectiveness. Converted into a full-time long reliever this year, he barely saw any action with the Rays before getting dealt to Milwaukee for Jesus Aguilar. The deal sure didn’t work out for the Brewers. Faria’s wild pitch on Sunday doomed Milwaukee to another loss and mercifully ended his horrible run with the team as he’s been shelled since moving to the NL. He remains under team control for 2020, but with his workload dropping year by year, he may find it hard to crack the 25-man roster next season.
  • Just three years ago, Andrew Miller looked like the best reliever in baseball, but last year, injuries and a declining K rate knocked him back several pegs. And this year, after getting touched up in two of his final three appearances, Miller’s ERA rose to its highest since he was converted into a reliever. He was actually a bit tougher to hit this year, but his strikeout rate dropped for a third straight year, so clearly his days of total domination are pretty much done. Miller’s going to be a borderline Fantasy option in 2020.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Here’s another track from Bruce Springsteen — who turned 70 last week — specifically, from his Essential release, which is a compilation featuring tunes from various albums and concerts. Here’s “For You,” originally from his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you think Bochy’s lasting legacy will be.

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