Assessing Girardi

Dave Cameron of USS Mariner takes a look at new M’s manager Don Wakamatsu:

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While the Griffey scenario was the biggest challenge, he’s also proven adept in other areas. His handling of the bullpen has been very good so far, finding the right options for high leverage situations and relegating Batista to a back-up role despite his vast experience lead over the rest of the relief arms. He’s shuffled the line-up depending on opposing pitcher handedness, something the previous managers simply weren’t willing to do. He’s stuck with struggling starters when the team needed innings and managed the workloads without riding anyone excessively hard.

You know who that paragraph could apply to? Joe Girardi. The same things that Joe has been criticized for at different times this year are things that Cameron (and I fully agree) sees as attributes of a good manager. He has been open to finding the right options for high leverage situations, using Phil Coke and Jon Albaladejo in important spots rather than the more experienced Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Damaso Marte. He stuck with struggling starters to save his bullpen (CC Sabathia against Oakland, for example) and has managed workloads very well, spreading the large number of bullpen innings over all of his relievers (6 relievers between 7.1 and 10.1 innings). Finally, he has shuffled the lineup based on the pitcher’s handedness, something he did last season to resounding criticism. He has not been perfect, but he continues to distinguish himself as a good manager in terms of strategy. The Yankees are playing poorly, but it is not Joe Girardi’s fault.

0 thoughts on “Assessing Girardi

  1. Well I don’t have as much of a problem with his bullpen decisions as how he uses his bench. Last night was a perfect example. 1st and 3rd no out with the backup catcher up and down by 3 I would have gone to Gardner there as he isn’t a double play candidate. Most likely worst case scenario is he makes an out by force or fly and gets the runner home from third with a runner still on 1st. Then with Pena up you can go to Posada to tie it up. If Gardner would have gotten a hit then Posada would have been the winning run. Either way he still bats in the inning with a chance to tie the game.

    Drove me nuts the second I saw Posada step up to the plate and lo and behold…dp to kill the rally.

    • Interesting. I didnt think of that, but typically I think he does a good job with the bench. I just think his options off the bench stink.

    • Damn, I was yelling at the TV for him to send up Brett. Brett got one of the RBIs Sunday in the same situation. Pitchers are throwing him high fast balls so he will hit it in the air (not afraid of HRs). Adapt & Improvise Brett…don’t swing at the the high ones…I can hear Long telling him that right now.
      Options off the bench are unacceptable…are you reading Cashman?

  2. Girardi has done a nice job imo. Some of his moves have backfired, but that happens at times. Of course this is NY, so if the team isn’t winning, he’ll get shit on by the fans and media. Heck even if the team is winning he’ll probably still get shit on.

    I think its up to the players at this point.

    • True…No Manager can hit, pitch or play the field for his team. The thing he can do is put the players in a position to succeed…which I think, he has done.

  3. I agree. The blame he’s getting some places for the bullpen’s slow start (especially ‘Torre was better with the bp!’) are comical considering it’s not even May 1st yet.