Wednesday newsletter time: Why I voted Bruce Bochy as top AL manager
(AP photo/LM Otero)
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was selected as the American League Manager of the Year, receiving 27 of 30 first-place votes. Rangers manager Bruce Bochy finished a distant second with the other three first-place tallies.
One of those was from me, and anyone who looked at the voting probably wasn’t surprised to see someone from Rangers Today vote for the Rangers candidate. I swear it wasn’t a homer pick.
Hyde was a worthy candidate, guiding the Orioles to a league-best 101 wins with a young roster and a relatively small payroll. The Orioles also improved upon their 2022 record by 18 wins. Not bad.
The Rangers improved by 22 after winning 68 games in 2022, when they were pretty awful. They have a hefty payroll, yes, but they needed major contributions from a rookie third baseman, an unproven center fielder and a fresh-faced left fielder. They needed to overcome all sorts of injuries to their very best players and the leakiest bullpen in baseball.
And they did it, finishing above .500 and making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
That’s why Bochy got my vote.
But that’s where his case ends. All that happens in the postseason doesn’t count. All voting is based on the regular season, with votes due the last day of the regular season.
If the postseason did count, Bochy would have won in a landslide. He won the head-to-head matchups against Hyde and third-place finisher Kevin Cash of the Rays, and made it look easy.
Bochy’s first season with the Rangers wasn’t easy, but he guiding them through the traffic and into the postseason. That’s why he got my first-place vote.
The deadline to set the reserve list passed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the Rangers have four new members on their 40-man roster who are no longer available in the Rule 5 draft.
Infielder Justin Foscue, the 2020 first-rounder, was an obvious choice. So was right-hander Marc Church and left-hander Antoine Kelly, who could be on the Opening Day roster. The fourth pick might have come as a surprise, right-hander Jose Corniell.
Make no mistake that Corniell had a fabulous season, which he opened as a 19-year-old. He was the Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA across two levels.
They were both A levels, though, and maybe that’s where the surprise comes into play. Right-hander Dane Acker, for instance, had a 2.54 ERA at Double A Frisco.
Corniell and Acker both have stuff. What Corniell has is good health. Acker has yet to pitch a full season because of elbow (Tommy John surgery in 2021) and shoulder (delayed his 2023 season) issues.
Corniell has a lot of positive momentum, and the Rangers thought there was so much of it that he wouldn’t have made it through the Rule 5 draft.
The break is over, and the newest Today Baseball Podcast is live.
Josh Sborz is the guest. John Moore is giddy. I had a coughing fit.
We have tentative plans for Episode 100, which may or may not happen this week. We also have thoughts on having a live show on location next month or at some point this offseason. We’re thinking around the airport, probably midweek.
Does that work for everyone?
Please let us know.
Me, when I know I’m getting Mexican food for dinner. Enjoy.
time 2 twirl
— out of context dogs (@contextdogs) November 14, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org