In just his second year at the helm of the Colorado Rockies, manager Bud Black is batting 1.000 and has been named a finalist for National League Manager of the Year for the second time.
Black once again led the Rockies to a postseason appearance, this time falling in the divisional round to Milwaukee. In the regular season, the former San Diego Padres skipper led the team to a 91-72 record, good for second in the NL West behind the eventual NL pennant-winning Los Angeles Dodgers.
Known for his coaching acumen with pitchers, the Rockies’ staff took a large leap forward in his second year. Led by Colorado native Kyle Freeland, the rotation registered the fourth-lowest earned run average in franchise history (4.33).
Along with the run prevention, the Rockies tallied the highest strikeout rate in their history, fanning 8.73 batters per nine innings.
The nomination comes less than a week after both Nolan Arenado and D.J. LeMahieu were named Gold Glove winners for the franchise.
Black is joined by fellow NL skippers Craig Counsell (Milwaukee Brewers) and Brian Snitker (Atlanta Braves) as finalists.
Counsell led the charge against the Rockies in the second round of the postseason. The Brewers swept the Rockies, winning each game by an average margin of 3.67 runs per game. As a whole, the Brewers won 96 games, tied for the top mark in the NL with their division rival, the Chicago Cubs.
The Braves, led by third-year manager Snitker, registered their highest win total since 2013, winning 90 of the team’s 162 regular season matchups.
Both the Braves and the Rockies were eliminated in the Divisional Series, while the Brewers were able to make the NL Championship, eventually losing in seven games to the Dodgers.
The winner of the award will be announced next week.