Cubs manager David Ross finished third in NL Manager of the Year voting for his rookie season on the job.
Ross came in behind the Marlins’ Don Mattingly and Padres’ Jayce Tingler, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Tuesday on MLB Network, in the second day of four awards announcements.
Ross received one first-, two second- and 14 third-place votes for a total of 25 points. Mattingly won the award with 20 first-place votes.
The fact that Ross was so highly considered is an accomplishment in and of itself. Only eight rookie managers have ever won the award. Though Ross didn’t join that exclusive group, his third-place finish suggest he outperformed the voters’ expectations.
“What we saw, what we experienced,” Epstein said after the season, “was a very successful first year for someone who's going to be a great manager here for a long time.”
Ross led the Cubs to a division title despite his core hitters’ woes at the plate. Ross also oversaw the complete turnaround of a bullpen plagued with control issues at the beginning of the season. Under his watch, the starting rotation weathered injuries to Tyler Chatwood and José Quintana, with Yu Darvish becoming a Cy Young finalist and 25-year-old Adbert Alzolay emerging as a starting option for next year.
"You trust in the resume," Ross said on MLB Network when asked about managing his starting pitchers. "You trust in the strength of your team. I thought that was going to be what was going to carry the day for us."
In a season played in the middle of a pandemic, perhaps Ross’ biggest accomplishment came in the form a statistic unique to 2020. The Cubs were the only MLB team to go from intake testing through the postseason without a player testing positive for COVID-19 or missing time with the virus.