Rays’ Cash wins Manager of the Year award

by Gary Shelton on November 11, 2020

in general

Cash was voted the AL's best manager./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

And in the year when he finally won the AL Manager of the Year, the biggest memory of Kevin Cash was one of disappointment.

You could almost picture it Tuesday when Cash was presented with the award. The presenter would hand him the plaque, shake his hand and say "why in the hell did you pull Blake Snell in your last game?"

To which Cash should say, "Oops."

Except for that, however, Cash had a whale of a season playing the matchup game. He took a team with one of the worst hitting lineups in

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memory, and he beat the Yankees and the Astros. His roster was one of the lowest paid in the league. His newcomers (Yoshi Tsutsugo, Hunter Renfroe and Jose Martinez) didn't help much. His pitching staff was hurt. In the post-season, Neal Anderson turned into Jesus Colome. There was Covid. There were no fans (not so new for the Rays). There were silly rules like ghost runners in extra innings.

And Cash guided the Rays yp the American League title.

Cash received 22 first place votes to win, the third time (the other two were by Joe Madden) that a Rays' manager has won the award.

Cash finished third in the BBWAA’s AL Manager of the Year voting in each of the previous two seasons. He becomes the fifth AL manager to record three consecutive top three finishes.

Cash’s club survived 15 different players being placed on the injured list in the shortened season, excluding the COVID-19 Related IL. This included three from their season-opening starting rotation, seven of their planned Opening Day bullpen and four starting position players. The injured list peaked at 13 players on September 1, tying the club record. From August 9–September 1, their injured list grew from four to 13 players—and they went a majors-best 18-4 (.818) over that stretch.

Cash used 59 different batting orders in 60 games, tied with Scott Servais of the Seattle Mariners for most in the majors. He used seven pitchers who entered spring training as non-roster invites, including five for at least 25 innings. He used 12 different starting pitchers, tied for 4th in the majors behind the Boston Red Sox (16), Atlanta Braves (14) and Miami Marlins (13). He used 12 different pitchers to record a save (another in the playoffs), tying the major league record held by the 1973 Texas Rangers.

Again, no one is perfect. The closer you are to the Rays, the more you might have questioned Cash. That's fair. That's the game.

But Cash was pretty good.

His Rays, too.

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