How Would You Grade Don Mattingly In His First Season?
Sean Millerick: B+. Yes, he can absolutely improve his in-game decision making. But it’s not like he’s Dusty Baker either. He kept the team’s head above water for so much of the season, shrugging off an 80 game suspension and sickening slump for the teams top two stars. Clubhouse culture changed overnight, and while a lot of that might speak more about who we’d be comparing him to than his own merits, he gets the benefit of the doubt. Justin Bour‘s sprained ankle did far more damage than any of Mattingly’s questionable bullpen moves in the end.
Austyn Varney: B-. I think he did a great job giving the Marlins a manager with some sense of stability, which has been lost for a while. The Marlins did improve from 2 years ago, going from 71 to 79 wins. They were in the wild card race all year, but did fall off towards the end of the season. Nobody can be blamed for the tragedy that occurred and it obviously did hurt the team in a negative way. With that being said, he could of been a lot better in-game. From the batting order to bullpen management, he needs to improve. If he is able to do that this season, he should have a solidified job, even though the season might not be too successful.
David Marcillo: Don Mattingly’s grade, in my opinion, would need to be split into two parts. Before and after games? He gets an A-. He seems to have the respect of his players and also “has their backs” which is key to building team chemistry. During the game though? D-. Horrible bullpen decisions, awful pinch hitting/pinch running/defensive replacement moves, and just general cluelessness in terms of winning a baseball game.
Kyle Rowley: I would give Don Mattingly an A+. He seemed to change the culture of the Marlins and had them in contention much later than most expected. There’s only so much he can do when his stars like Stanton are underperforming or hurt. His bullpen handling was a huge improvement over past figures like Mike Redmond, and he has a certain aura that I feel players respect. He is the right man to bring the Marlins to success, assuming the front office can help him out a little.
Joshua Alfonso: Successful, if for no other reason because it feels like the organization respects him and gives him the freedom to manage. Past issues with the Loria have been documented, including his fallout with Dan Jennings. The Jose Fernandez situation was a great test of leadership and he handled it as well as he could have.