With the 2019 spring training slate underway, the Colorado Rockies look to be done adding new members to the team.
By far, the biggest move made was extending Nolan Arenado for eight years and $260 million. Some may argue this move being the marquis signing for the whole league this offseason. While the Arenado signing is huge for this organization, there is another signing that will benefit the Colorado Rockies immensely for the next few years that is flying under the radar. Bud Black was given a three-year extension last Monday, which will keep the skipper through the 2022 season. Looking at his first two seasons as the manager, the future is bright for the Rockies.
Black pitched in the majors from 1981 to 1995. He was a part of the starting rotation on the World Series champion Kansas City Royals in 1985. In his 15-year career, Black won 121 games with a 3.84 ERA. His coaching career began with the Anaheim Angels as a pitching coach, winning another World Series ring in 2002. In 2006, he was hired as the San Diego Padres manager, winning the National League Manager of the Year title in 2010. He was also a Manager of the Year finalist in both 2017 and 2018.
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Since arriving in 2017, Black has clicked with this young core of players, posting a 178-147 record. For the first time in the franchise’s history, a manager has lead the Rockies to the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. (2017-18) He has become a leader in the clubhouse and on the field that any MLB team could benefit from.
Black has always been somewhat of a pitching specialist-type manager. This is a great thing to have while calling Coors Field your home. Over the last few years, the Rockies starting rotation has started to bloom into young stars. Pitchers like Kyle Freeland, Tyler Anderson and German Marquez all came out of their shell in 2018 and Black is the reason for that. Being a pitcher in his playing career, Black has the intelligence to make any pitching roster better. If the Rockies pitching can perform at the top of their game along with the offense the Rockies have, the NL West could be taken over by this Rockies team.
Black’s contract is up in 2022 which will make him the second longest tenured manager to be with the Rockies, tied with Don Baylor, behind Clint Hurdle (eight years). It looks like bringing Black to Colorado to take control of the team has paid off so far and could continue to improve in the upcoming seasons.