MLB Awards: 2017 National League Manager of the Year

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 25: Hernan Perez
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 25: Hernan Perez /
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2. Dave Roberts: Los Angeles Dodgers

Having a seemingly unlimited payroll can make anyone’s life easier. Nonetheless, Dave Roberts still had challenges this season as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Seemingly destined to challange the Seattle Mariners single season wins record, the Dodgers had their issues. The starting pitching was inconsistent or injured, and sometimes both. Clayton Kershaw spent over a month on the shelf with a back issue. Kenta Maeda ended up in the bullpen, as did Hyun-Jin Ryu (for a save). It could have been a lot worse.

While the Dodgers fell short in their quest for 117 wins, they still finished with MLB’s best record at 104-58. Roberts managed to navigate through ten different starting pitchers, and the various outfielders the Dodgers brought through the clubhouse, to keep the team on track. That guidance was needed, as the Diamondbacks and Rockies were both hot on the Dodgers heels down the stretch.

Much like Dusty Baker and the Nationals, the Dodgers are not going to be judged on the regular season. Their year boils down to whether or not the Dodgers win the World Series for the first time since Kirk Gibson was pumping his fist around second base. Anything less will be considered a disappointment.

Dave Roberts may be able to bring the Dodgers to the Promised Land. He already did a great job guiding Los Angeles through their injury issues to the postseason and the best record in the game. All he needs is 11 more wins.