Torey Lovullo of the Diamondbacks and Paul Molitor of the Twins have been named Manager of the Year in their respective leagues, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Tuesday. As a reminder, voting was conducted prior to the postseason, so the results of the playoffs had no bearing on the award’s recipients.
Lovullo, 52, wins NL Manager of the Year honors in his first season as a big league manager. Lovullo inherited a club that went 69-93 in 2016 but was able to help the D-backs flip that record to 93 wins and 69 losses. Lovullo’s D-backs claimed the top Wild Card spot in the National League and remained competitive throughout the season, even as center fielder A.J. Pollock missed nearly two months on the disabled list and Shelby Miller missed nearly the entire season due to Tommy John surgery.
Lovullo received 18 first-place votes and 111 voting points in the BBWAA’s weighted voting system, topping runner-up Dave Roberts of the Dodgers (five first-place votes, 55 points) and third-place finisher Bud Black of the Rockies (three first-place votes, 43 points) in the voting. Brewers skipper Craig Counsell finished fourth and took three first-place votes, while recently dismissed Nationals manager Dusty Baker finished fifth and received one first-place vote. A full breakdown of the voting can be seen here.
Molitor’s Twins became the first club in Major League history to go from a 100-loss season to a playoff berth when they secured the second American League Wild Card spot. The Twins surprisingly led the American League Central for much of the first half before sliding into the middle of pack and looking to have largely fallen out of contention at the non-waiver trade deadline. Minnesota dealt closer Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals and left-hander Jaime Garcia to the Yankees after dropping six of seven games (while the red-hot Indians and Royals soared to the top of the division), but Molitor’s club proved to be resilient.
From Aug. 1 through season’s end, the Twins went 35-24 as a number of their young talents surged in the second half. Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario surged over the final couple of months, helping the Twins to fend off an Angels club that remained in contention for a Wild Card spot into the last week of the season.
Molitor landed 18 first-place votes and finished with 112 points in the BBWAA’s voting system, as can be seen in the full breakdown of the voting. Indians skipper Terry Francona finished a close second with 11 first-place votes and 90 total points in the balloting. Astros skipper A.J. Hinch picked up the 30th and final first-place vote, finishing third in the balloting with 56 points. Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi was a frequent recipient of second- and third-place votes, rounding out the ballot with 12 points and a fourth-place finish.
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