Hello, Rockies fans! I'm a dedicated Pirates fan. Our sister site, Bucs Dugout, does a semi-regular podcast. One of the guests earlier this year was Andrew J. Martin, which is how I found out about this blog.
After Tracy left Pittsburgh following the 2007 season, I counted my lucky stars and forgot that he existed (much the same way I've always done with bands once they leave my consciousness; did you know that Marcy Playground has released 5 albums since the one with "Sex & Candy" on it?) I know he led your Rockies to the Wild Card when he got there in 2009 (coincidentally replacing Clint Hurdle, current Pirates skipper), but I really haven't paid very much attention to him since then.
As I'm sure some of you are as well, I'm an avid fantasy baseball player. This year, I own Josh Rutledge (and have had Tyler Colvin, Jordan Pacheco, D.J. LeMathieu, and even Todd Helton for spurts) in my 20-team league. This has led me to follow a lot of lineup moves, patterns, and platoon situations. My question is this: how can Tracy watch Rutledge storm through the NL, singlehandedly making them competitive in the Reds and Cardinals series, then sit him after an 0-for-4? The past week or so, it looks like Tracy's platooning him with Jonathan Herrera (who's not really a veteran or much of a hitter) so that Rutledge mostly faces lefties. That would make sense as a RH hitter... except his limited MLB data (small sample size, I know) shows he has an extreme opposite split where he struggles against LHP's and kills RHP's.
Listen: I'm familiar with Jim Tracy's mind-boggling moves... I watched them firsthand for two years. But most of the time, it seemed like Tracy was more of an old-fashioned manager resolved to play aging vets over younger players. I don't agree with that mindset, but it's a noticeable trend amongst managers. But the things he's doing this year outright confuse me. I was talking to a friend the other day about how odd it was that no managers have been fired (yet) this year; we agreed that it's likely that none will during the season. But how has Jim Tracy avoided the axe? Is he really as terrible as he looks on paper (granted, to an observer really only looking at lineup moves, bullpen usage, and a few late-game PH situations)?