Revisiting AL East Position Rankings: Pitching - Page 4 of 4 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Paul Folkemer

Revisiting AL East Position Rankings: Pitching

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

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Manager

April rankings:

  1. Buck Showalter, Orioles
  2. Joe Girardi, Yankees
  3. John Farrell, Red Sox
  4. John Gibbons, Blue Jays
  5. Kevin Cash, Rays

Girardi, although he infuriates many fans with his constant, mid-inning pitching changes, had the Yankees running like a well-oiled machine in 2017. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the club, Girardi (pictured above) was able to wring contributions out of aging veterans such as Sabathia and Brett Gardner to complement young stalwarts like Aaron Judge and Severino. His in-game tactics don’t always work so well, but he’s generally well respected in the clubhouse.

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Showalter has a long track record in Baltimore of getting the most out of his players and helping the club exceed expectations. And he deserves credit for keeping the Orioles in contention until September despite being saddled with the worst rotation in the majors. But he couldn’t keep the team from collapsing in the season’s final month while showing a lack of energy down the stretch.

Cash and Gibbons didn’t particularly distinguish themselves this season. Both guided their clubs to below-.500 records, with Gibbons’ Blue Jays falling out of contention almost immediately. But both are in better shape today than Farrell, whom the Red Sox dismissed after losing the AL Division Series to the Houston Astros. Despite back-to-back division titles, Farrell’s lack of communication in the clubhouse ultimately cost him his job.

End-of-season rankings:

  1. Girardi, Yankees
  2. Showalter, Orioles
  3. Cash, Rays
  4. Gibbons, Blue Jays
  5. Farrell, Red Sox

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