Dodgers “Expected” To Retain Dave Roberts As Manager

The Dodgers’ postseason run is over much earlier than expected, and however the team might respond to its upset loss in the NLDS, moving on from manager Dave Roberts doesn’t appear to be under consideration.  Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times reports that Roberts “is expected” to return to the dugout next season.

The news isn’t overly surprising, considering that Roberts has yet to even begin the three-year contract extension he signed last March.  2022 was the final season of Roberts’ previous contract with the team, and his new deal will keep him as manager through the end of the 2025 season.

Through seven seasons in Los Angeles, the 50-year-old Roberts has enjoyed enough success to put him on a Hall of Fame path.  Roberts has a 632-380 record over those seven years, and as Harris notes, Roberts’ .632 winning percentage is the highest of any skipper in MLB history who has managed at least 315 career games. (Negro League managers Bullet Rogan, Vic Harris, and Rube Foster are the only managers with a higher winning percentage in any recognized major league.)  The Dodgers have reached the postseason in all seven of Roberts’ seasons, won six NL West titles, three NL pennants, and one World Series championship in 2020.

Amidst that tremendous resume, of course, winning “only” one title has brought some criticism Roberts’ way, given how the Dodgers have been favored almost every one of their trips to the playoffs.  This year, L.A. dominated the league en route to a franchise record 111 wins in the regular season, only to be upset by the Padres in four games in the NLDS.  It marked just the second time in Roberts’ tenure that the Dodgers didn’t win at least one playoff round.

The decision to remove Tyler Anderson after five shutout innings in Game 4 loomed large after the Padres took the lead in a five-run seventh inning, and it joined a rather lengthy list of bullpen decisions that have backfired on Roberts in the postseason.  Beyond just the bullpen, however, the normally dangerous Los Angeles lineup went into a collective slump in the NLDS, going 5-for-34 (.147) with runners in scoring position.  It’s hard to blame Roberts for such a breakdown, and yet given the Dodgers’ consistent track record of regular-season success, nothing short of another Series championship will fully quell the criticism.

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