ESPN's Buster Olney reported a rumor that Yankees' mangerial candidate Joe Girardi might end up with the Dodgers if the Yankees do not hire him to do the same job in the Bronx. It made me wonder how Girardi would run the offense in LA if he were hired. To get an idea, I lloked at his actual behavior in past situations. For fantasy purposes, this takes the form of playing veterans over rookies and stealing bases.
Girardi has just one year of managerial experience - the 2006 Florida Marlins. The team had no established/declining veterans, but did have a some journeyman-type players who could be expected to see significant playing time if the manager were inclined towards veterans rather than the unestablished rookies. Two players that would fit the bill are UT Alfredo Almezaga and CR Wes Helms.
Each player did get significant use. Almezaga appeared in 132 games and got 334 ABs, and Helms appeared in 140 games with 240 ABs. However, neither seems to have robbed younger players of the same. CF Reggie Abercrombie was given 255 ABs despite a slashline of 212/271/333. Joe Borchard was slightly better and got 230 ABs with a line of 230/322/400. Finally, Cody Ross got 250 ABs with 212/284/396.
These may just reflect that Girardi had no better options, but it certainly doesn't reflect a veteran bias against unestablished players.
As for SBs, the Marlins ranked 7th in the NL in 2006 with 110 SBs. The team was lead by SS Hanley Ramirez's 51. Next was the aforementioned Almezaga with 20. This high concentration of steals between two players is suggestive of a willingness not to run, but it could also mean Girardi didn't have the legs to do so more frequently.
Looking at the team's CS% offers a different clue. Girardi graduated from Northwestern with a degree in engineering so one wouldn't say he lacked the mental ability to understand the statistical arguments about the stolen base. Yet, his team was caught 58 times and ranked 13th in CS%. This indicates he may manage the game with the SB as an important key, but his players could not execute and were caught versus successfully executing.
What it means for the Dodgers hitters is hard to say given his sample of one, but I would lean towards not worrying about Girardi intentionally decreasing SB attempts not would I worry about him playing Nomar Garciaparra or Ramon Martinez over younger options like Andy LaRoche, Tony Abreu, Chin-Lung Hu etc.
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