Colorado Rockies: Bud Black finalist for National League Manager of Year
By Ryan Ladika
In his first year at the helm for the Colorado Rockies, Bud Black joined National League West counterparts Torey Lovullo and Dave Roberts as a finalist for the 2017 National League Manager of the Year award.
Bud Black has finally started reaping the benefits of all of his hard work.
After signing with Colorado in November 2016 to replace Walt Weiss as manager, Black guided the Rockies to an 87-75 record and into the postseason for the first time in eight years, securing the second Wild Card spot on the penultimate day of the season. It was also the first postseason game of his managerial career.
The Rockies signed the former World Series champion pitcher for his expertise in that position. The hope was that he would provide extra help with the added challenge of playing 81 games in Major League Baseball’s most notorious hitters’ park.
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Black rose to the occasion and then some, exceeding many expectations during his inaugural season with the club.
At times having as many as four rookie pitchers in the starting rotation because of injuries, Black kept his wits about him as he navigated losing ace starter Jon Gray to a foot injury and projected No. 2 starter Chad Bettis to testicular cancer, as well as Tyler Anderson who dealt with a plaguing knee injury for most of the season.
Black did the best he could with what he had, serving not only as a coach but as a mentor for the four rookie pitchers whose success defined Colorado’s season. Kyle Freeland, German Márquez, Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela combined for 38 wins and an average 4.77 ERA throughout the year.
Not to mention the juggling act that was filling out the lineup card on a daily basis, Black made a very hard job of maneuvering the logjam in the outfield look easy.
Should he win, this would be Black’s second career Manager of the Year award. He first won the honor as the skipper of the San Diego Padres in 2010, leading the team to a 90-72 record and narrowly missing the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.
Despite the Rockies’ disappointing loss to the Diamondbacks in the Wild Card game, 2017 showed that the Rockies have a manager that they can count on, who knows what he’s doing and who knows how to win, as the Rockies improved upon their 75-win season just one year ago.
Next: Where the Rockies ranked in the first power rankings for 2018
Bud Black represents a change in culture at 20th and Blake Street. The Rockies are on the right track, led by one of the best in the game.