Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson earned accolades for the way he developed and handled a young pitching staff. Could he get hired to manage elsewhere?
Derek Johnson has been the Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach since 2016. Before coming to Milwaukee, he spent a few seasons with the Chicago Cubs as their Minor League pitching coordinator, but his role with the Brewers was his first coaching job at baseball’s highest level. Is there a chance that teams come calling this year or next?
Are there any available jobs this year?
Still? Yes. There are three open jobs right now. The Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, and Minnesota Twins are still looking to find new managers for 2019.
Is Johnson linked to any of these teams?
No. The Twins have narrowed their search down to three finalists. It’s rumored that the Blue Jays still have five names they’re considering. And the Rangers are still deciding between at least two options. Johnson’s name hasn’t come up this time.
Why isn’t Johnson linked to any teams?
The only box that Johnson doesn’t check is an extensive Major League resume. He’s worked at the collegiate level and in the Minors, but he only has three years of experience in the Majors. Another year or two of success and working with current manager Craig Counsell, and Johnson should generate more buzz.
It’s also unclear how well Johnson handles analytics, and he doesn’t talk to the press very often.
What makes Johnson a managerial candidate?
He’s done well to develop a young pitching staff, and he’s also earned a reputation for a patient, player-focused approach to teaching. Johnson also brings an inherent positivity to his current role, and views relationship building as a key aspect of his job.
Johnson has also written the book on pitching…literally. Johnson wrote “The Complete Guide to Pitching” in 2013, and it’s still available on Amazon.
The Milwaukee Brewers have seen Zach Davies and Jimmy Nelson break out under Johnson tutelage, and young arms like Josh Hader, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta have gotten off to good starts to their professional careers.
Given his approach and resume, Johnson could make sense as a new manager for team starting a rebuild. The Milwaukee Brewers clearly have a pitching coach who has developed an excellent rapport with his team. However, if the Brewers continue to succeed, Johnson may start to get offers to take on a larger role with a team of his own.