Yes, Joe has been on the fence about Mike Matheny. In some respects, Joe guesses that is being fair.
Yes, Matheny has a lot of wins and most managers would run over someone to brag their worst season was missing a wild card by one game. Then you watch Matheny manage and, UGH!
So Joe isn’t sure what to make of Bernie Miklasz of 101Sports.com raving about how the addition of reliever Brett Cecil might just make Matheny a better manager.
Miklasz seems to think that with Cecil being so flexible, Matheny can use Cecil in all sorts of ways.
Matheny can use Cecil in tandem with designated closer Seung-hwan Oh, without worrying about who pitches the eighth, who pitches the ninth. Deployment will be more about match-ups and the hitters that are due up for the other side when the Cardinals are trying to protect a late lead. And if Trevor Rosenthal is sharp and in the bullpen mix, the Cardinals can put a hard rain on opponents in high-leverage situations.
And by having Cecil at his disposal, Matheny can ease his dependence on Cards’ LH Kevin Siegrist. That’s potentially significant because Siegrist has been pushed hard over the past three seasons, ranking 9th among MLB left-handed relievers in most pitches thrown, 10th for most batters faced, and 10th for most innings pitched.
Now hold up! Bernie has been a harsh critic of Matheny in the past, and for good reason. But perhaps Bernie and Joe are watching two different managers.
Did Bernie not see how Matheny botched moves time and again last year when he had options with pitchers (and hitters)? It was as if Matheny couldn’t control himself. He made moves just to make moves. It was out of control.
More options will suddenly make Matheny a better manager? If anything it makes Matheny more of a klutz.
Matheny is like a kid with matches. The fewer matches to play with, the less of a chance of starting a fire.