Craig Counsell is starting to gain national recognition for the job he’s done this season as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. Counsell has led the Brewers to a 65-60 record and only two games out of the National League Central Division race and two and a half games out the Wild Card hunt.
This was a Brewers team thought to be in the second year of a rebuild. The team was only projected to win 72 games this season, but are currently on pace to win 84-85 games. Milwaukee has overachieved in almost every aspect this season.
The starting pitching has been one of the better rotations ERA wise in the national league pretty much the whole season. The bullpen has gotten stronger since general manager David Stearns made a few deadline deals to add veteran arms to the back-end of the bullpen.
Young players such as Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia have also had break-out seasons, which has helped fuel the Brewers offense. Travis Shaw, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox this winter, has also been having his best season as a pro.
Counsell’s biggest competition will be Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Roberts has led the Dodgers to the best record in baseball at 87-35. The team is currently on pace to win 116 games, which would be one of the best regular seasons in Major League Baseball history.
Roberts shot at winning the award could be hurt by the star-studded Dodgers roster and the fact that they have the highest payroll in baseball. Some voters will probably hesitate to vote for him since he won NL Manager of the Year last season.
As long as Counsell and the Brewers don’t have a monumental collapse in September, he should be the favorite to take home Manager of the Year honors.