How much value does one manager have on a team? That’s what baseball writers try to determine every year in the annual MLB Manager of the Year Awards for the AL and the NL. In the AL, the winner was Twins manager Paul Molitor. New manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Torey Luvullo won in the NL. They both led their teams to wild card berths this year, with Lovullo making it to the NLDS before the Diamondbacks were eliminated.
Luvullo helped propel his team forward as he took the Diamondbacks from a 69-93 record to a 93-69 record(a net gain of 24 wins) and to the NLDS. The Diamondbacks still had incredible talent last year with first basemen Paul Goldschmidt, star pitcher Zack Greinke, and star outfielder A.J. Pollock, but a down year from Zack Greinke, and an injured Pollock were a couple reasons for their downfall last year. For most of the season it appeared they were set for a postseason berth at least in the wild card, as the powerhouse Dodgers held on to first place in NL West Division.
Molitor, in a different path than Lovullo, has been the Twins manager since the 2015 season. The Twins record was 59-103 last year, and in 2017 they improved to a 85-77 record(a net gain of 26 wins) which was good enough for 2nd place including an appearance in the wildcard game. A different path as for much of the 2017 season the Twins were treading water. The Twins were even considered sellers at the July 31st trade deadline. But his confidence in his players and their desire to win helped them to at least be in the wild card game. While any manager hopes to make it further than the wild card game, that is no small feat from being last place with 59 wins the year before. These two managers are very deserving of their accolade.