In his first year as the Chicago Cubs manager, David Ross is a finalist for NL Manager of the Year. After leading the Cubs to a hot start (13-3), Ross directed the Cubs in the right direction from the getgo.
All three managers led their team to the playoffs and finished with impressive records. Let’s take a look at all three managers and how likely they are to win the award.
David Ross (CHC)
Just four years ago, Ross was a catcher for Chicago and helped them win their first World Series title in over 100 years. Now in 2020, the Cubs took a chance on hiring Ross to be their next skipper.
In his first season as the Cubs manager, he was everything that Theo Epstein and Tom Ricketts thought he would be for this roster.
He helped the Cubs get out to a fast 13-3 start. Although the Cubs did slump after their fast start, finishing just 21-23 in their last 44 games, Ross did his best to control the club.
Ross is the only manager (that is a finalist) that won their division. This was also his first year ever coaching any sort of baseball team, which is much impressive.
The Cubs finished with a 34-26 record and the third seed in the national league.
Ross guided the Cubs to their first division title since 2017 and helped them get back to the playoffs after a disappointing 2019 season. All this while being in his first season as the manager.
Don Mattingly (MIA)
The former Los Angeles Dodgers skipper from 2011-2015 was fired after the 2015 season.
Mattingly was then hired in 2016 by the Miami Marlins. He hasn’t had much success with the Marlins as they have never had a winning season with him. However, that was until 2020 when Mattingly led the Marlins to a 31-29 record.
One season after losing 105 games, Mattingly rebranded the Marlins and managed them to their first positive record since 2009.
Additionally, with a 31-29 record and an expanded playoff format, the Marlins clinched their first playoff berth since 2003. Not only did Mattingly lead this team to a positive record, but he did it while the Marlins experienced an early COVID outbreak within their organization.
As a result of the COVID outbreak, the Marlins had to call up many inexperienced players. Throughout the season, the Marlins used 25 different position players (the most by any team).
Mattingly did everything he could to lead a team that no one thought was capable of making the playoffs.
Jayce Tingler (SD)
Another first-year manager makes this list. Jayce Tingler, a former assistant general manager for the Texas Rangers, was hired by the San Diego Padres before the 2020 season.
In his first year as manager for the Padres, Tingler led them to a 37-23 record. Consquently, the Padres finished the season with a .617 win percentage (third-best in the MLB). Their .617 win percentage marked their best win percentage in a season in franchise history.
Although the Padres didn’t win their division, they finished with the second-best record in the National League only behind the Dodgers. As a result, they finished fourth in the National League.
Like the Marlins, the Padres had a vast improvement from 2019 to 2020. Last season, the Padres finished last in their division going 70-92.
With a new manager in charge, Tingler did everything he could to help the Padres reach the postseason for the first time since 2006.
Can David Ross Win NL Manager of the Year?
Even though, Chicago hopes for this to happen, it’s unlikely that Ross wins the award.
Mattingly and Tingler both overcame huge obstacles to lead their teams to the playoffs.
Mattingly helped the Marlins recover from a 105 loss season the previous year to an eventual playoff berth the following season. As for Tingler, he came into a new club and led the Padres from the third-worst record in the NL to the second-best record in the NL.
Ross will most likely finish third behind both candidates. Nonetheless, the Cubs and their fans should be impressed with Ross as he led them to their first division title in three years.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Athletic