Counsell bringing stability to Brewers dugout
Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell in 2020 will be starting his sixth season (yes, he has been the manager for five seasons already!). That is noteworthy from the standpoint that only three other Brewers managers in team history had a stretch of more than five years as manager of the team.
Back in 2015 when Counsell was handed the job after a stint in the Brewers front office, many questioned the move, especially considering that Counsell did not have any managerial experience. But with two consecutive post-season appearances in 2018 and 2019 and a regular season record 24 games above .500, Counsell, with more success in the future, could make a move to challenge the most career games and career wins by a Brewers skipper.
For the record, Counsell is 405-381 record (.515 winning percentage) in his five seasons with the Brew Crew.
- Counsell is only 53 wins from taking over second place on the team’s list for most wins by a manager. There’s a good chance that could happen this year.
- He is 158 wins as a manager from the top spot. A pair of good seasons in 2020 and 2021 could launch Counsell into first place on that list.
- His 786 regular season games managed for the team ranks fourth. He is 34 games out of third place. To take over the top spot from Phil Garner, Counsell will probably have to manage the team well into the 2022 season to surpass Garner.
- He is one of four Brewers managers with 400 or more career wins. The only Brewers manager with 500 or more wins is Garner with 563.
- Of the seven Brewers managers who managed the team for 500 or more career regular season games, Counsell’s .515 winning percentage is tied for second with Tom Trebelhorn, only .003 points behind George Bamberger, who tops the list at .518.
- Counsell last season became the only Brewers skipper in team history to lead the team to two post-season appearances. He also became the 93rd manager in MLB history to have two or more appearances in the post-season on his managerial resume.
- His six playoff wins as a manager of the Brewers ties him with Harvey Kuenn for most in team history.
- His 10 playoff games managed with the team is third on the list behind Kuenn with 12 and Ron Roenicke with 11.
Here is a list of the seven men who have managed the Brewers for 500 or more regular season games (also noted is their win-loss record and winning percentage in those games).
Phil Garner, 1180, 563-617 .477
Ned Yost, 959, 457-502 .477
Tom Trebelhorn, 819, 422-397 .515
Craig Counsell, 786, 405-381 .515
George Bamberger, 728, 377-351 .518
Ron Roenicke, 673, 342-331 .508
Del Crandall, 609, 271-338 .445
Note: Of the remaining 12 men who have managed the Brewers in the team’s history, none skippered the team for more than 300 games.
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TODAY’s SPORTSTAT-November 15, 2018
With Craig Counsell’s second-place finish in the 2018 National League Manager of the Year race, the Brewers still have not had one of their managers win this award. Counsell became the fourth Brewers manager to finish second in a Manager of the Year honor since the birth of the franchise in 1969.
Counsell finished 17 points behind Atlanta skipper Brian Snitker in this year’s race. That’s the second closest second-place finish for a Milwaukee manager since Tom Trebelhorn finished second 12 points behind Sparky Anderson in the 1987 American League Manager of the Year award.
There have been 12 seasons where a Brewers manager received votes for the Manager of the Year award. Here’s a look at those 12 times:
1987: Tom Trebelhorn (finished 2nd)
1988: Tom Trebelhorn (finished 4th)
1992: Phil Garner (finished 2nd)
1995: Phil Garner (finished 6th)
1997: Phil Garner (finished 3rd)
2005: Ned Yost (finished 5th)
2007: Ned Yost (finished 7th)
2008: Dale Sveum (finished 8th)
2011: Ron Roenicke (finished 2nd)
2014: Ron Roenicke (finished 7th)
2017: Craig Counsell (finished 4th)
2018: Craig Counsell (finished 2nd
Win increase in three straight seasons
One of the reasons why Counsell received significant support for the N.L. Manager of the Year award this season is the fact that the team won the N.L. Central Division and increased their win total by 10 wins over 2017. The Brewers won 86 games in 2017 and won 96 this past campaign.
The Brewers are one of four teams that have increased their win totals in each of the past three seasons. The Brewers won 68 in 2015, 73 in 2016, 86 in 2017 and 96 in 2018. The other teams that have increased their win totals in each of the past three seasons:
Colorado: 68-75-87-91 (the Rockies have actually increased their win totals in each of the past four seasons… they won 66 games in 2014)
The Brewers also became one of only a handful of MLB teams in history that saw their win totals in four consecutive years go from 60-70-80-90. Can they keep the streak alive and win 100 or more games in 2019, thus joining one other team that went 60-70-80-90-100 wins in five straight seasons?
Following are the MLB teams that had 60-70-80-90 win seasons in four consecutive years (seasons that were shortened due to any strike or work stoppage are not included).
Milwaukee (2015-18): 68-73-86-96
Colorado (2015-18): 68-75-87-91
New York Mets (2003-06): 66-71-83-97
Oakland (1997-2001): 65-74-87-91-102 (5 seasons)
St. Louis Cardinals: (1924-27): 65-77-89-92
St. Louis Browns (1919-22): 67-76-81-93
Brooklyn (1912-16): 58-65-75-80-94 (5 seasons)
Brewers pitching staff with only one 10-game winner
Jhoulys Chacin led the Brewers pitching staff with 15 wins in 2018. What makes that stat all the more interesting is that Chacin was the only Brewers hurler to win 10 or more games. It was the seventh time in team history that happened.
Sixty-five different pitchers have won 10 or more games in a season with the Brewers. Jim Slaton leads that group with nine double-digit win seasons for the Brew Crew. He is followed by Ben Sheets with seven, Mike Caldwell and Moose Haas with six, and Yovani Gallardo and Teddy Higuera with five each.
Here are the seven seasons when only one Brewers pitcher won 10 or more games for the club that year:
1984: Don Sutton, 14
1985: Teddy Higuera, 15
1995: Ricky Bones, 10
2012: Yovani Gallardo, 16
2015: Jimmy Nelson, 11
2016: Zach Davies, 11
2018: Jhoulys Chacin, 15
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As the Milwaukee Brewers 18th manager in their 46-year history, Ron Roenicke in 2015 begins his fifth season as skipper of the Brew Crew. Here’s a look at some of Roenicke’s numbers through his first four seasons.
1. Roenicke is one of five Brewers manager to win over 300 games with the club. Leading the way is Phil Garner who won 563. He is followed by Ned Yost (457), Tom Trebelhorn (422), George Bamberger (377) and Roenicke (335).
2. Roenicke is one of five Brewers managers (minimum of 100 games managed) to have a career winning percentage over .500 with the team. Roenicke is fourth on the list at .517. Harvey Kuenn’s .576 tops the list followed by Buck Rodgers at .549, Bamberger (.518), Roenicke (.517) and Trebelhorn (.515).
3. Roenicke last season became the sixth manager in Brewers history to manage the team for 600 or more games. Those with 600-plus games as Brewers manager: Garner (1180), Yost (959), Trebelhorn (819), Bamberger (728), Roenicke (648) and Del Crandall (609).
4. Roenicke is one of only four Brewers managers to pilot the team for four consecutive complete seasons. Garner managed the Brewers for seven consecutive complete seasons, while Trebelhorn and Yost had five such seasons. Garner was fired in his eighth season; Yost was let go at the end of his sixth season.
5. Roenicke is one of the four Brewers managers to lead the team into the post-season. His 11 post-season games in 2011 ranks second on the team behind Harvey Kuenn’s 12 post-season games in 1982. The others: Buck Rodgers (five post-season games in 1981) and Dale Sveum (four playoff games in 2008).
6. Roenicke last season tied Trebelhorn for the most winning seasons as Brewers manager (complete seasons) with three. Bamberger had two complete seasons above .500, while Garner, Kuenn, Rodgers and Yost each had one full season at the helm above .500.
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