San Diego Padres: The Genius of Jayce Tingler

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 24: Manager Jayce Tingler and Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres line up during the National Anthem prior to the Opening Day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PETCO Park on July 24, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 24: Manager Jayce Tingler and Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres line up during the National Anthem prior to the Opening Day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PETCO Park on July 24, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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At his introductory press conference, San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler promised communicating with his players would be his top priority. And he has upheld that declaration as Tingler’s relationship with his players is off-the-charts. He has gained their trust with a “mentality of one” message that no one player is more important than the entire 26-man roster. This is the “genius” of Tingler.

What a 2020 for Tingler, who made his major league managerial debut amidst a global pandemic. It was a season of growth that gave Tingler a better perspective of what is expected of him as the leader of a baseball franchise on a nightly basis.

Managers are More Than Field Bosses

Today’s baseball managers must be part-game strategist and part-psychologist to be successful at their jobs. Stoic figures need not apply as the premise “speak when you are spoken to” is a relic managerial tactic of the past.

More Padres. No worries about Tatis' shoulder. light

Now, managers must convey one singular message and make themselves more approachable to everyone on the roster. An investment of this nature will come in handy to keep teams together going through the grind of the dog days of August in a long baseball season. And in Tingler’s case, it will take a lot to break his confidence in the San Diego Padres’ ability to play winning baseball.

Tingler Learned His Trade in a Pandemic-Shortened Season

No question, Tingler’s managerial style was tested last season. He wore a path from the dugout to the mound. Critics felt Tingler was stagnating the development of the Padres young pitchers by not allowing them to pitch out of jams. At the first sign of trouble, the Padres skipper would climb the dugout steps to remove a pitcher. This earned him the moniker “Captain Hook” because of the high number of pitching changes that occurred each night. It’s a cute nickname, but it does not tell the whole story.

Tingler had a difficult balancing act with the pitching staff as his top two starters (Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger) were lost due to injury in late September and unavailable for the postseason. Unfortunately, he had no reinforcements coming through the clubhouse doors, so Tingler had to be creative to get 27 outs.

Sure, you could argue that the additional innings diminished the effectiveness of the bullpen the further the Padres advanced in the playoffs. Given the challenge that faced him, Tingler came out ahead as a better manager. He learned how to utilize every pitcher on his staff. Yes, some of the moves did not pan out, but the emergence of Ryan Weathers has paid dividends this season.

When the Friars were eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the divisional round, Tingler’s inexperience as a manager was not the cause of their defeat. He never looked overwhelmed in the moment.

In his postgame zoom press conferences, Tingler never showed any outward despair over his team’s struggles. He knew this was a necessary first step in the process of launching a new era with the Padres. Tingler was confident that postseason failures were going to be a thing of the past. Why? Well, he knows this core group of players is ready to make franchise history.

Tingler is Pushing All the Right Buttons in 2021

We are at the halfway point in the 2021 season, the Friar Faithful is better at recognizing Tingler’s tendencies in his second season as Padres manager. You can expect his team to play fundamentally sound with a high baseball IQ on most nights.

The current makeup of the San Diego Padres lineup has more power than in recent years, but that luxury has been a detriment at times. Often, when the team is struggling to score runs. The offense becomes too station-to-station when trying to move base runners into scoring position. It seems the Friars are biding their time until someone hits a home run to temporarily solve their hitting woes.

Tingler sends out a balanced lineup each night, with the hopes of limiting the number of lefty/righty pitching matchups an opposing manager can throw at the Friars late in close games. Plus, the length of the batting order lowers the threat of being (three times in 2021) shutout by an opposing pitching staff. Hitting is contagious and keeps teams from getting into prolonged slumps at the plate.

2021 could become a special season for the Padres, but they’re in a tough three-team race for the National League West with the San Francisco Giants and Dodgers. The narrative of the outcome has not been written yet.

Next. Padres trade deadline wish list. dark

But do not count out Tingler’s role in deciding who captures the division crown.