BY DAN PESCHONG
Our loyal blogmate daveb has been begging for a shot at talking about Bo Porter all off-season. Daveb – we write to serve here at chipalatta.com.
It is difficult to judge managers when they do not have a lot to work with and the lot they do have is filled with inexperience. At the end, Brad Mills had diddly squat on the squad; Bo Porter in 2013 had double secret probation diddly squat jr. to manage.
Still there are things that give us some idea of who we have here in the manager’s spot and this is a quick look at some of those “things”.
Lineups. Porter went through a ton of lineups last season (specifically 139), which makes sense since he had 50 players with the big club at one time or another. As a semi-stat guy a lot of the decisions he made with player placement made little sense. Jose Altuve in the third or fourth spot was pure poison and now we hear he will be doing it again.
Platoons. Porter has said this spring he does not believe in platoons. But just last season we saw a middle of the road Oakland team ride platoons to a third best OPS in the AL. Open that mind Bo.
Base Running Aggressiveness. In 2013, one of the few things the Astros led the league in was caught stealing and it was not even close with 61 CS vs. 46 for the next worst team. And this did not even count the many players sliced down trying to take an extra base that just was not there. This one is on the manager.
Bullpen Use. I can’t go pound on Bo for this one. His starting pitchers stunk and did not go deep into games. He had to go to the pen and in most cases this came down to which gasoline brand to bring to the fire.
Team Discipline. All managers will occasionally go to the media with a player discipline complaint. Bo Porter seemed to make this his signature move. It is hard to hold a clubhouse if the players think their manager is going to not only throw them under the bus, but drive the bus themselves.
So, daveb – there you go. Anything you want to add, subtract, lean on or argue with – the floor is turned over to you and all your buddies.