Re: Is Farrell a good dugout manager?
posted at 8/7/2013 1:55 PM EDT
Let me make one thing clear. Farrell is in fact a good dugout manager. Yes, he has also been good at creating chemistry and especially at respecting veterans without overdoing it.
I completely disagreed with starting Wright last night because of what happened in the first inning. Then I read Nick Cafardo's piece that explained what Farrell was thinking--against Houston and a weak starter, Wright had pitched very well, Workman headed for the bullpen, and, interestingly, the expectation that in an enclosed ballpark the knuckler would be really effective. Ironically, the knuckler was so effective Lavarnway couldn't catch it despite having no problem catching Wright and his knuckler several times (8 games, reportedly) in the past. Both Lavarnway and Wright said the ball was really moving, more than ever before, and that was the problem.
I still disagree with starting Wright because Workman was availalbe, but I give Farrell--we are talking about dugout management, I believe--for letting Wright finish the first inning, but bringing Workman in to start the 2d inning. A failed experiment, but he limited the damage. Also worth noting, I think, is the lineup was more than willing to have the manager's back by pulverizing the Astros staff for 15 runs.
I normally, usually defend Farrell, but not always. I still think Iglesias should have been the pinchrunner in that one loss and not Nava. And last night, even though Farrell handled the disaster well, I fault him for starting Wright instead of Workman. I am sure he has made other mistakes--if indeed I am right in calling those two examples mistakes--but by and large think he has a very good rationale for everything he does. I also think he is masterful with the players--giving rookies like Iglesias their shot, but also treating veterans well. His guys basically can't bunt worth a darn, but that, I'm afraid, is the fault of Bill James and John Henry.