This past week the Padres announced that the manager Bud Black would remain as the team’s skipper next season. This may have been a bit of a surprise for some people as many thought that new General Manager A.J. Preller would want to bring in his own manager as the organization moves into a new era with Preller at the helm. A lot of rumors regarding who might replace Black were circulating around the baseball community and brand names like former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek had been among those mentioned. But it seems that Preller has chosen Black to lead the team at least for the time being and to be fair there was no real reason to relieve him of his position.
Now the time for speculation has ended and as Preller sets to move San Diego baseball into a youthful future the team will count on him and Black to collaborate on the current rebuilding effort. So how can these two work together to bring the Friars back to a level where they can compete?
The key to the future success of the Padres is youth. We saw the team sell off some of their best players in order to bolster the minor leagues. Among those prospects includes the young and talented second base prospect from the Angels organization named Taylor Lindsey. There has been a lot of talk about the team’s current second baseman Jedd Gyorko possibly moving to third as there are questions about his ability to continue playing the second sack. Deciding what to do with Lindsay and Gyorko is something that both Preller and Black will have to make a decision on together as it pertains to both the front office and the people on the field.
Other decisions like what to do with team ace Andrew Cashner in regards to keeping him healthy and how to work the bullpen. All this is something that will need to be addressed by both the general and on field manager and as of now Preller is showing a lot of faith in the man his predecessor hired.
One thing that both men need to put an emphasis on is building a young core and Black needs to continue his work with guys like Yasmani Grandal, Everth Cabrera, Yonder Alonso, Tommy Medica, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy among others. Preller has to be able to explore all possible avenues, including his specialty in the international market, to stock the team with young talent and continue to trust Black to do the same thing he has been.
While it can often cause friction within the organization to have the manager from the previous regime still holding office in the clubhouse but Preller is a young General Manager with a lot to prove and he may see Black’s knowledge as a veteran of the game to be extremely value as he begins a long rebuilding process. Will this marriage last? We’ll have to wait and see.