The Colorado Rockies made an interesting choice when they named Walt Weiss their manager in 2013.
Weiss, who played shortstop in the Major Leagues from 1987-2000, had no big league managing experience. At the time of his interview, he was the manager of the Regis Jesuit High School baseball team in Denver. Weiss had worked as a consultant with the Rockies but had never been in the dugout with the team.
The Rockies took a chance on Weiss and early in the season, it looks like that chance is paying off.
Weiss has the Rockies in first place with 17-11 record after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 1. Some have questioned Weiss’ handling of the pitching staff, especially the bullpen. He stuck with Wilton Lopez in critical situations and watched him blow up, but he made right move with his bullpen in Wednesday’s win.
Juan Nicasio was pitching decently but struggling once again with his pitch count. After 92 pitches through four innings, Weiss pulled the righty and replaced him with Josh Outman, who took care of two innings and got the win. The Rockies’ bullpen has found its stride as they did not give up a earned run during the team’s recent seven-game road trip.
Weiss is not only thriving with the pitching staff. His best move may have been hiring former Blake Street Bomber Dante Bichette as the hitting coach.
Bichette and Weiss have given the powerful lineup a new confidence. The Rockies have the best batting average and are second in the majors in runs. They are also hitting on the road and are 8-8 outside of Coors Field.
Weiss will have more decisions to make as the season goes on. Does he move Jeff Francis and Nicasio out of the rotation? Does he take away Lopez’s duties in close games? These are two main pressing questions facing Weiss at the moment, and they could shape the Rockies season.
The rookie manager is doing the unthinkable at the moment. He has a team that was predicted to finish last — not just in their division, but last in the majors — competing for a division title. Weiss is doing all the right things now and hopefully he continues it through the season.
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