Ron Washington is a good manager. A lot of people don’t think so, but I do.
You can call me a Ron Washington apologist, fan, or homer. All 3 would be appropriate labels.
But consider a few things…
Wash beat out 4 other candidates for his position.
All 4 have since been hired and then fired as managers of other clubs and, in that time frame, he has only taken his team to the World Series.
His players play for him and he loves the game of baseball.
The biggest complaint out there about Washington is that he “doesn’t know” how to handle a bullpen. Even I find his moves a little perplexing at times, but I don’t believe that there will ever be a right way and a wrong way to implement bullpen arms.
Wash is a mix & match manager, which is frustrating to some. On the flip side, there are other managers* that adhere to more strict and rigid strategies, which is frustrating to others.
*For instance, Joe Girardi of the Yankees pretty exclusively uses Joba, Soriano, & Rivera (or Jo-So-Mo) in the last 3 innings to shorten the game. This strategy has had severely mixed results.
The big difference between this year and years previous is that right now it doesn’t matter who Washington puts in the game, because everyone has been equally terrible at times.
Wash has said repeatedly that he’s not worried about guys with “track records” like O’Day, Oliver, Rhodes, & Lowe. That’s the kind of thing you expect to hear from a player’s manager, but at this point none of those guys has really stepped up.
Oliver and Rhodes are looking more old than experienced. O’Day is on the DL after hip surgery. Lowe was sent to Round Rock to figure things out and has since returned to replace Pedro Strop (but hasn’t redebuted in the majors yet).
At this point there isn’t much Wash can do. CJ threw a complete game last night, but you won’t see that 5 nights out of 5.
Eventually he’s got to go to his bullpen and that’s become a problem.
Last week I wrote that the bullpen might lose more games than they’re going to win and it’s truer now than it was when I wrote it.
Something is going to have to happen before too much longer. Feliz comes back tomorrow, but the issues run far deeper than just his shoulder inflammation. The old guys look too old, the young guys look too young, and Ogando will likely remain in the rotation well into the foreseeable future.
Maybe the answer is a trade of some kind, but that won’t happen for at least another month.
Other than that, all we can do is wait and hope for some of these guys to put it together.