Though Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts technically isn’t under contract for the 2019 season, the organization has a club option on him that could still be exercised. General manager Farhan Zaidi, though, indicated in a recent appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that a longer arrangement could be in the works (Twitter link, with audio). “As far as Dave goes, those conversations have been ongoing for the last couple months,” said Zaidi. “As the conversation’s going, certainly we would prefer to work out something longer-term than just picking up the option. All sides feel good about it. [We] haven’t been commenting too extensively, publicly, but obviously he’s done a tremendous job with this club.”
Roberts is a somewhat polarizing figure among Dodgers fans, as many are frustrated with the Dodgers’ matchup-driven lineup construction, among other critiques. The Dodgers, though, have landed in back-to-back World Series and won three consecutive division titles under Roberts.
Here’s more out of Los Angeles as the Dodgers gear up for Game 3 against the Red Sox…
- Though left-hander Julio Urias is thriving out of the bullpen for the Dodgers since returning from major shoulder surgery, Roberts told reporters that the 22-year-old’s future is still as a starter (Twitter link via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times). Urias won’t necessarily be penciled into the Opening Day rotation, it seems, but Roberts made clear that Urias will work as a starter for the Dodgers “at some point next year.” The Dodgers will be cautious with Urias’ workload in 2019, which is likely why they’re not making definitive declarations about his timeline to rejoin the rotation at present. His return from anterior capsule repair has been nothing short of remarkable, as he’s pitched 11 1/3 innings between the regular season and the playoffs and yielded just two runs with 12 strikeouts and no walks allowed.
- Raul Ibanez, who is serving as a special assistant to Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, turned down the opportunity to interview for managerial openings this offseason, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports in his weekly notes column. Ibanez has long been tabbed as a potential skipper, though apparently he’s content in his current role. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him emerge as a serious candidate in future offseasons, though. Heyman also speculates that a qualifying offer could be made to Hyun-Jin Ryu and touches on Clayton Kershaw’s opt-out clause, noting that both Kershaw and the team hope to work something out. Kershaw is likely to opt out of the remaining two years and $65MM on his contract, though the Dodgers could try to put together an extension offer that’ll keep him Los Angeles for a longer period.
dimitrios in la
I am surprised Roberts lasted this long but winning helps. Nothing suggests to me that he’s an outstanding manager in any way, but he seems generally like a yes guy for the front office’s data-driven wishes.
That’s what teams seem to want these days. A guy who can manage the clubhouse and player personalities while serving as a puppet for the analytic data driven front office. The sport is moving away from old school real managers.
What do you mean ‘real managers’? Guys that use instincts rather than math? Lol
No different than religious nuts who disregard solid science in deference to dusty old tomes presented as “facts”.
Roberts or whomever. It’s Friedman and Zahidi pulling the strings. Yeah for analytics!
People who think this is the way that analytics work really don’t seem to understand the utility of analytics very much.
And that includes any teams that function this way, if such teams exist.
So I guess you know more than Ken Rosenthal, who recently stated in a gathering in Chicago that Friedman and Zahidi were pulling the strings. Ok. I bow to your greatness.
If you just spent close to 200 million dollars constructing a team around a certain philosophy, are you going to hand it over to a guy who has a different idea of how to use it?
People throw around words like ‘puppet’ and ‘yes man’, but seriously, why would anyone want a front office and a manager who aren’t on the same page?
Precisely. I am constantly amazed by the number of fans who don’t seem to understand that the team is run by the front office, not the manager. This is true for all teams now to some degree, but most definitely for the Dodgers, who have invested in analytics more than any other team. Bill Plaschke wrote a piece for yesterday’s LA Times about how a reliance on analytics has failed the Dodgers in the series. Everything seems to stick to Roberts for playing the FO’s game plan. Yet Friedman, who is actually calling those shots, seems to be teflon-coated.
There is an enormous difference between a manager being on board with the front office philosophy and the manager being a yes-man for the front office. The former is a healthy way to run any sort of organization, but it requires that the manager have autonomy to interpret the numbers and use them to help make decisions in key moments. The latter would have the manager essentially following a script, no matter what. You hire a manager to make those in-the-moment decisions, because he should be the most equipped to know when to follow the data model’s trends and when it’s time to make an exception, based on his familiarity with the team, the situation, and a billion other intangibles that the data models can’t account for.
Instead of speculating about things we don’t really know, how about looking at a few of the things we do know? We know when Friedman was hired he cleaned house. From scouting, to development, to manager, and coaches. Almost everybody was canned. He was give a free hand by ownership to build this ball club the way he wanted to be. So if Roberts is a “yes man” it’s because his boss expects that from him. Put another manager in that dugout and he’s going to be expected to do the same, which is implement Friedman’s game plan. Why nothing seems to stick to Friedman just amazes me. Nobody seems to want to mention the elephant in the room.
I’d argue that part of the modern manager’s job is to take the brunt of the criticism when plans don’t work or players don’t perform. Roberts obviously buys into Friedman’s philosophy, which is why he has the job. I just find it hard to believe that Roberts has as little autonomy within each game as a lot of comments imply. I find it hard to believe that any good GM would even want that. Going strictly by the analytics every play of every game with no exceptions could produce a nice regular season record (over 162 games, you’re likely to see a lot of the big trends play out), but that plan can fall apart in small sample sizes, for any number of reasons.
Obviously I can’t know exactly what the Friedman-Roberts dynamic truly is, but I can’t see the guy who hired Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay looking to seize his manager’s autonomy now.
I sure don’t care for that argument. It is eerily similar to the CEO who blames their company’s poor performance on underlings and never takes responsibility for failure on themselves. That’s just bad management. It’s a formula for continued failure.
I’m not arguing that Roberts has no autonomy but that the game plan overall is clearly created by Friedman, and if Roberts was deviating from that game plan, we would not be talking about his extension because he’d be gone already. Go out and find Plaschke’s piece in the Times (should have been linked here). As he says, and I agree, Friedman’s analytics approach may have validity over the course of 162 games, but not so much in these situations.
I mean, look at bringing Madson in twice with two outs and runners on. We’ve already heard that the Dodgers like Madson in those situations because he gets a lot of swinging strikes. That’s a statistical argument. So when he can’t find the right zip code one night, is the statistical answer different the next night?
I’m not necessarily defending Roberts, whom I’m not sold on as a game strategist, just saying that this new attack line of ‘oh, he’s just a puppet’ is a little ridiculous when actually scrutinized.
All managers are there to manage the team created for them by the front office. So they are all puppets to some degree, if you want to look at it that way
Using the word “puppet” is just a way of trying to spin the argument into something less factual and more emotional. The way I look at it, Roberts is a good company man. We hear him sometimes talking about how he buys into the front office plan. That doesn’t make him a puppet, it makes him somebody who understands the chain of command and why he has the job. It also isn’t a matter of whether we like that or not, it’s just the way it is. My complaint is that hardly anyone wants to talk about the front office, and whether they’ve got the right plan. If the Dodger fail to make a stunning comeback in the series then questions should rightly be asked about whether the plan they implemented was the right one.
If winning 3 consecutive division titles and making two WS appearances is what’s “sticking” to Roberts, I am sure he doesn’t mind. Whether he makes his move based on analytics, or a gut feeling, there is no guarantee that the move will work. Odds favor the track record. Either way, if a move fails, I am sure you will complain.
I’m not sure why you think nobody is blaming Friedman. There’s a reason he’s known as Fraudman in Dodger fan circles. Not saying I agree or disagree, but many many Dodgers fans are tired of this front office and their hardline on matchups.
If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster. I have no idea what point you are trying to make here, but nobody is talking about guarantees.
I didn’t say nobody. I said, hardly anyone, which around here, is a completely accurate assessment. Just look at the posts in this thread if you disbelieve me.
I’m far from an expert but so many times I see a bullpen change that goes wrong. Obviously it’ll happen but as you say, it needs some gut instinct at this level which just seems to be being used less.
He is a puppet and yes man. Let’s just be honest about it.
So does Roberts go to the phone in every situation, does he wear an earpiece, or are Zaidi and Friedman right there with him in the dugout? Because it’s obvious Roberts does nothing on his own, I just want to know how he does it, maybe it’s Magic!
Nobody said he does, but he does have Bob Geren in the dugout at his side for every game. In today’s game the bench coach is the data guy.
Really? Because I could’ve sworn I just read multiple comments saying either Friedman and Zaidi are pulling the strings or that’s Roberts is a yes man, puppet etc.
Why is there this huge assumption that Roberts is just a puppet? Is it truly bizarre to think that maybe he agrees with the plan the FO put forth, and buys in completely? Or that he truly has no say? When making guesses on what to do next, is it better to just say “I’m going with my gut” or looking at data and shifting my plan to what the trend is?
I don’t remember where I read it, and it was a couple years ago when the Diamondbacks and Angels were bottom dwelling teams, and it was revealed that they believed more in “the eye test” and were not into the analytic game. Since then, I think the Angels and Scioscia were still holdouts, and was getting into it with that FO over the use of analytics.
The most important part of management is managing people, not numbers. That’s what Dave Roberts was brought in to do- manage people and personalities, and it’s odd that this isn’t clear to everyone here. He has been exceptional at it.
Let’s see what happens to Roberts after the Dodgers lose to Boston.
Yea…. let’s see what happens to the guy that’s been the manager of the team that’s went to World Series 2yrs in a row.
Doesn’t really work that way… if the Dodgers lose, there are still 28 other managers that didn’t get as far as he did.
Can’t take anyone seriously that is a Red Sox, Yankees and Mets fan. No credibility.
And, of course, your credibility just soared.
The Dodgers are the west coast Yankees.
So who on here is the west coast version of Eileen?
It’s the same with every team. If a fan doesn’t like a manager, then he’s nothing but a “yes man” for the FO. If a fan likes the manager, then his flaws or shortcomings are overlooked as long as the team is winning.
It’s true that managers, seemingly, don’t have the power they used to, but that’s pretty much true in most industries among large companies. There’s less leeway allowed for not meeting the “bottom line”. A bottom line of seriously contending for a WS is rewarded when met and Roberts will be rewarded with more money and years.
dimitrios in la
Well the first graph is just wrong. I don’t dislike Roberts for being a “yes man.” It’s a (pardon the pun) a strike against him, sure, but I also frankly like him. He certainly seems to relate well to players and he’s also taken a clubhouse that could be very fractious all these years and gotten it to play well together.
As for winning or losing, that too is not the main way I measure the success or abilities of a manager.
In regards to Roberts, who cares what the fans think? the vast majority of them have no idea what they’re talking about
dimitrios in la
Then there’s those of us who do!
“Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you’re up in the stands with them.” -Tommy Lasorda
Roberts gets good players from the FO. He communicates well with his players. and he knows what the FO expects from both the 25 and 40 man roster. Not a lot of people are successful doing that.
dimitrios in la
That is well said.
I’m surprised there’s so many Dodger fans that want Roberts fired. I can understand their frustration, but I don’t understand why they would blame EVERYTHING on him. I know he’s not the best manager, but no one seems to give him credit for absolutely anything. If the team succeeds, then they praise the players, but if they fail, they blame the manager. I feel like they just want to find one reason for their failure, and if they get rid of that one problem then they’ll win be able to win the WS. People seem more angry at Roberts for taking out Baez (which is understandable), but not with Grandal when he had two two errors on the NLCS, or with Kershaw alloring 5 runs in 4 innings against the Red Sox (I understand they’re a good team, but he’s arguably one of the best pitchers in all of baseball that’s getting payed over $30 million per year. He should’ve put a bigger fight against them). Either way, the front office is just using him as a puppet, they should be the ones fired. They have had one of the largest payrolls in all of baseball for six consecutive years and zero championships. On the other hand, they did aquire young talent such as Seager, Bellinger, Urias, Buehler, etc; but when you have such a large budget, you have high expectations that have to be reached or else you’re just bad at your job. I feel like if the front office just let him do his job and stop “suggesting” him to use all this analytics, he might possibly be a better manager.
Be honest….did you ever think you’d see the day David Price pitches better than Kershaw in a World Series game?
Yes. Kershaw might be most overrated pitcher ever
dimitrios in la
“Most overrated pitcher ever.” Huh?
dimitrios in la
Sure anything’s possible and they’ve both been less than stellar in the post-season.
eduardoaraisa98, I applaud you for putting the year of your birth in your username. When you wrote that Kershaw “should’ve put a bigger fight against them”, I instantly thought that only a child would write something like that, To your credit, as a child, you have allowed readers of your comments to identify you as such which will reduce the scathing criticism you receive for your misguided ideas.
…meanwhile you offered up absolutely nothing.
How would you know that 98 is the year of this person’s birth?
You might want to spend more time practicing your own punctuation skills instead of critiquing other people’s writing.
Several times the Dodgers FO has said publicly that they want to sign Roberts to an extension and Roberts has been quoted that he wants to remain with Dodgers. It is just a matter of time until an agreement is reached. But I will not be surprised to see a couple of coaching changes before 2019 ST
Do you really think Kershaw is opting out without the framework for a new deal in place?
He’s either signing an extension with the Dodgers or opting out. He’s not sticking to his current contract, regardless of whether there’s any kind of framework in place.
they might get rid of the fella if they don’t win this year
With 10 & 5 rights and opt out option, Kershaw and his agent are in control.
The guy has a bad back, averaged only 90.4 on his fastball, which got hit for a .299 avg. He’s on the wrong side of 30 too. Maybe 4/110 if someone’s desperate enough.
Which is $45mm more than 2/$65mm.
Roberts has managed from the analytics and progressiveness side of things in this World Series 2018 and just take a look at where LAD are right now, 2 games in the hole. I am not saying altogether that it’s Roberts’ fault. However, as far as I am concerned you leave Baez out there in game 1, you don’t bring in Alex Wood. In game 2 you leave Ryu in, he had given up a run, even though he loaded the bases you stick with him right there as he was pitching well. Furthermore, how can you run Madson out there 2 days in a row, you needed an out. Of course he didn’t pitch badly, but he was the wrong guy in the situation.
Houston also kicked Peacock off their roster, I bet if they had their time again he would have been on their roster irrespective of what he did in his last few games in the regular season. Instead they included a rookie-Josh James. Analytics and progressive managers have their place in the game, but as far as I am concerned you still have to use a percentage of ‘gut feel’ mixed in with the other information. Good pitchers can get good hitters out no matter whether they are left handed or right handed pitchers and the hitter is left handed or right handed. You can’t let analytics or progressiveness take over or dictate how the game should be managed. A good manager uses information, he does not let the information totally govern or dictate his decisions or moves. .
And yet, how do you argue with success? Six consecutive division titles and two consecutive World Series appearances (where last year they were defeated by another highly analytics-driven team) says “somebody is doing something right.”
Incidentally, let’s not forget that the Dodgers are indeed down 2-0… to a team that uses analytics as well. 108 wins in the regular season, impressive series wins over the Yankees and Astros and now looking good against the Dodgers…
Can’t imagine Boston will be abandoning that approach any time soon.
Is using Eovaldi out of the bullpen because of or due to analytics? No, it is not. It’s a small example, but. Cora learned from Hinch.
Boston also spent over $220 million, exceeding the luxury tax and have the highest payroll in baseball. Let’s not gloss over that fact. Dodgers are big spenders too. Spending is the approach.
Boston uses analytics extensively – they were perhaps the first team to go all in on that approach.
In 2017, the Astros won the series with a payroll of almost $139 million, 17th highest in MLB and below the league average. 5 of the top 10 spending teams in 2017 did not make the playoffs.
In 2018, 5 of the top 10 spending teams in MLB did not make the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics had the 30th and 28th highest payrolls in 2018.
Of course Boston uses analytics extensively, all the teams do now. That is why I have posed this question many times: if all the teams use analytics, how does one team gain an advantage over other teams by using them? And the related question: how does a team know their analytical methods are superior to other team’s analytical methods?
Waz – Tampa missed the playoffs. Oakland played 1 game.
Dodgers were #1 in 2017. They lost to Houston. Yankees were #2. They lost to Houston. Boston was #3. They lost to Houston.
You assume they all use the same data in the same way. That just isn’t the case, nor could it ever be. Different people interpret and use data in different ways, in every kind of job.
Starbucks…your entire belief system is based on assumptions. That is how analytics are built; factual numbers and assumed numbers to build data. Although the assumptions may be different from one team to the next, the similarities are on full display.
Here is a fact: teams that spend more have a better chance at winning than teams that don’t.
No, I don’t assume that at all. In fact, I assume exactly the opposite.
Most if not every team is collecting proprietary data and building their own analytical models, as I’ve pointed out many times before. That’s why I’ve asked how any one team can know their data, modeling and analysis is superior to the methods and data being used by the other teams.
These are completely clear questions to ask and go right to the heart of what statistical analysis is all about. Not sure why I have to explain them again and again. I guess it’s because nobody ever takes up the questions in the way they were actually asked.
No doubt Dodgers have been successful, but remember that the new FO first season was 2015 and inherited a solid core of veterans plus several top prospects that had won the NL West in 2013 and 2014. While analytics are valuable, so are the in-game instincts of seasoned coaches and managers.
AJ Hinch said that last year he used a lot of gut feel in some of the decisions he made. I think this year in the ALCS he went away from that, not including Peacock, a guy who was stellar for them last year in the play offs says it all, and a lot of different things that Hinch did that were more gut feel in the 2017 play offs and WS than analytics..
Dave Roberts last year Game 2 World Series-Rich Hill 4ip 3h 7k 1er-60 pitches and gets taken out, tell me what that is……
AJ Hinch Game 3 2017 Peacock 3.2ip 0 runs. Roberts leaves Darvish out there in the 2nd innings Home run, double, walk, single, single,, all the damage in this game was done in that innings.
Game 5 Roberts allows Morrow to stay in the innings and gives up 4 runs when the score was 8-7 Dodgers, Home run, single, double, wild pitch, home run….
Game 7 Roberts starts Darvish when Kershaw should have started, you win or lose with your best player……
You can quote all you like about analytics, analytics doesn’t manage or govern/dictate decisions in games(but maybe now it does), people (should) manage games and make decisions.
Game 7 vs. Yankees, Brian McCann called about a thousand sliders. Why? Because he’s a veteran and knew his pitcher’s breaking pitch would not be touched by aggressive Yankee hitters. Mid-game McCann makes the adjustment. Would a young catcher make that call? Probably not. McCann made a judgement call and, all game long, played his tail off behind the dish.
Manage games and make decisions. You are 100% correct.
McCann called the game based on analytics. Period. Even he has said that the game plan came from the front office.
Starbucks I guess you didn’t watch the same game. Put the calculator and led pencil down. The front office game plan was more than just the so called “analytics” you are referring to. You seem to assume you know what the reports said. Hypocritical.
Roberts has managed the way Friedman wants him to manage. That’s why Roberts has his job and why he will probably keep it for a long time to come. If the analytical approach isn’t working then maybe the person who created that approach should take some responsibility for it, instead of laying it all on the doorstep of the person who was hired to implement that approach.
Blaming analytics is lazy. Very lazy. They are down 2-0 because of unreliable SP and sporadic offense. Nothing to do with numbers
In game 2 Ryu had given up 1 run, he was having a rough innings and loaded the bases, he had still pitched very well to that point-a good manager leaves him in, he doesn’t run a guy out there who had pitched the day before-but ‘analytics said’…..
“having a rough innings [sic]” Sid, I don’t completely disagree with your opinions, but you have mistakenly pluralized the word ‘inning’ enough times in your comments here that you apparently do not know not to do so, and it damages your credibility. If you want someone to acknowledge the veracity of your argument, it is very helpful not to provide obvious, avoidable flaws when you present your ideas.
Glass house, meet stone.
We all got Sid’s point.
Utter nonsense. The analytics dictate lineups and the pitching matchups, at a minimum. As Plaschke pointed out quite appropriately benching all of your big lefty bats just because a lefty is starting might look like the right approach on paper, but if having your most productive hitters sit for most of two World Series games isn’t playing out well, then a change of strategy is needed. And when Madson is trotted out there twice in critical situations it isn’t his smile that Roberts likes, it’s his matchup numbers. And where does he get those?
Analytics don’t “dictate” lineups, they are information only. Good pitchers will get good hitters out regardless of who they are. You have obviously never played the game at any level.
Furthermore, Madson is how old? Ryu would have faced Pearce 1-5 and Martinez 2-9 v Ryu, Pearce was 0 for 4 v Madson and Martinez 0-5 now 1-6, the sample sizes are too small yet you want to use/quote analytics in that “match up”. You’ve told me everything I need to know.
Basic stats are not analytics for lineups sake. Only Muncy has a case to start vs LHP with Bellinger getting there with how little Kiké is hitting. Grandal and Joc are flat out terrible vs LHP.
Analytics is information on which to base in game decision making, so your response basically makes no sense. And of course most of us know the statistical analysis these days especially goes a lot deeper than the number of times a given pitcher has faced a given hitter.
Furthermore, who went out and got Madson for just this kind of situation? Maybe that’s who you should be asking, “is how old?”
Apparently from the super secret teletype machine hidden in the dugout railing?
You are against analytics but complain about a manager using a relief pitcher two days in a row? Guess a good pitcher can get a good hitter out regardless of handedness, unless they pitched yesterday.
No doubt Dodgers make a QO to Ryu and likely Grandal.
Let go of Clayton Kershaw, Dave Roberts, and Yasmani Grandal if you want to win a championship. They’re weak-minded
This World Series would have been better with the Brewers. Dodgers are not a team and really don’t have any chemistry. Brewers lack some post season experience and one starting pitcher.
Boston sweeps LA.
Let him walk he’s done
Another 20 years and we won’t need managers.
They’ll have robomanagers in the dugout with a direct wireless link to all the statistics you can dream about.
Just like apps, and ordering stations have made fast food cashiers irrelevant.
Boring ass game 4 of the World Series. Boston can’t hit a curve ball, Dodgers can’t hit period!
Roberts played the game right into Boston’s hands, thanks for coming LA Dodgers.
So Hill had 91 pitches, a runner on 1st, and he drags him out of the game. Let Rich Hill finish the inning. If you are a Dodgers fan you can quote all the analytics you like, Hill would have faced Brock Holt, a k and a bb, and either Vazquez, a fly out and a single, or Jackie Bradley. Hill gave up 0 runs and had 7 k’s.
Instead in the end you end up with Ryan Madson facing Mitch Moreland. You have to gamble on Hill in the situation.
Roberts has learned nothing.