The changes to the rules in Major League Baseball this season have been controversial to say the least. As you likely know by now, today MLB took action on the most egregious of the problematic rules by revising their position on the so-called transfer rule, effective immediately.
Like it or not (and I don’t), MLB’s position on manager’s challenges, however, remains as is—at least for now.
After play completed yesterday there had been 100 total manager challenges so far this season. A good time, I decided, to have an RSNStats look at how the challenges have gone.
Knowing when to challenge
It’s easy to say managers should know when to challenge. And, in fact, some of the most comical parts of the season have been watching managers kill time with the umpires while they look for the high-sign from the dugout where, behind the scenes, club staff are reviewing TV video replays. Unfortunately, having conclusive evidence that it’s time to challenge hasn’t always worked out the way you’d expect. A good reason, in my view, that the challenge, at least as it’s done today, will never be considered a legitimate part of the game. Anyhow, on to the stats…
Of the 100 manager challenges to date, 48 of them have been successful for the managers that raised them.
The Cubs’ skipper, Rick Renteria, and the Rays’ Joe Maddon have raised the most challenges so far this season (7). Renteria has been successful 4 times, Maddon 3 times. Matt Matheny of the Cardinals is only manager yet to raise a challenge so far this season.
Six managers, including Red Sox skipper John Farrell, have never been successful in a challenge. Farrell is 0-for-3 so far this season. Others unsuccessful with challenges so far this season are : Blue Jays’ John Gibbons, Dodgers Don Mattingly, Athletics Bob Melvin, White Sox Robin Ventura, and Nationals Matt Williams. Gibbons and Melvin have the most challenges without a successful outcome (4).