5 Factors That Will Determine Bud Black's Success as Nationals’ Manager
As he becomes the Washington Nationals’ new manager, Bud Black inherits both a mess and a team capable of contending for the World Series. Read more here: http://wapo.st/1P0yGwR
- •Turn a collection of strangers into a teamThe Nationals’ roster will undergo an overhaul this winter, and the turnover will provide the Nationals with a (perhaps necessary) fresh start.
- •Earn the veterans’ trustFormer manager Matt Williams lost support from the leaders of the team. If Black can't convince older Nationals – namely Ryan Zimmerman and Jason Werth – to believe in him, it'll be difficult to acquire credibility from the rest of the clubhouse.
- •Let Bryce Harper be Bryce HarperFormer hitting coach Rick Schu once described working with Harper as making sure he had enough bats and pine tar. Sound advice.
- •Define bullpen roles, but don’t be wedded to themBlack comes to Washington with a strong reputation running a bullpen, and he’ll need to figure out a revamped bullpen. Like he did with the Padres in 2010, Black will need to turn unheralded pitchers into a force.
- •Get the best out of Stephen StrasburgBlack should be tailor-made for coaxing greatness from Strasburg. They both went to San Diego State. They're both pitchers. It would be just the Nationals’ luck for Black to help Strasburg reach his full potential right before he can bolt in free agency.