Laurila: Manager’s perspective: Fredi Gonzalez on embracing change

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on September 27, 2018:

There are expected to be a number of managerial openings this offseason, with no shortage of candidates in line to replace those being jettisoned (or leaving of their own volition). And while there has been a recent trend of hiring young — no previous experience necessary! — a handful of former MLB managers will certainly be considered. Fredi Gonzalez is among them.

Currently the third-base coach for the Marlins, Gonzalez has had a pair of mostly successful stints as a big-league skipper. The 54-year-old native of Cuba was at the helm in Miami from 2007 to -10, and in Atlanta from 2011 to -16. Under his leadership, the Braves had back-to-back 94- and 96-win seasons before things went south.

Gonzalez has grown a lot since he was named to replace Bobby Cox following the 2010 season. In December of that year, an interview I did with him for Baseball Prospectus led with the following: “Fredi Gonzalez is no stat geek — at least not yet — but he clearly recognizes the importance of data.”

Eight years later, that recognition has increased exponentially. Gonzalez still trusts his gut — every experienced manager and coach does, to a certain extent — but he’s smart enough to have evolved with the game. Baseball is embracing analytics more and more, and so is Fredi Gonzalez.

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Originally published: September 27, 2018. Last Updated: September 27, 2018.