On Tuesday it was announced that Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell was named Sporting News’ National League manager of the year.
The voting breakdown was Counsell getting the leading five votes. Then three managers from the N.L. West fills in the rest. Arizona’s Torey LoVullo getting two votes, and Dave Roberts and Bud Black getting one vote each.
Counsell completed his third year as a manager for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017, performing far better than the preseason expectations. He also did better than last season or in his partial 2015 managing year. The Brewers finished 86-76 this year, earning second place in the division. And they were in playoff contention all the way until the second to last game of the year.
The Brewers’ 2017 year was a whole 13 games better than their 2016 season. Which is a very good sign for the future of the young players on this team, as well as Counsell learning as a manager. However, expectations will certainly be different next year and beyond for this team.
With the Brewers young guys starting to develop, and still more talent coming up from the system, there will be a lot more pressure to make it to October. This adds pressure for Counsell, along with GM David Stearns this off season. Managing with very few expectations is significantly different than managing with the expectation to make it to the playoffs.
Nevertheless, the 2017 season was very successful for Craig Counsell and his Milwaukee Brewers. And now we can see that he is being recognized for his efforts. Having a former player with postseason experience as a coach could certainly be helpful to the young Brewers. And with Counsell at the helm, good things are ahead for this organization.