On Saturday afternoon, the Colorado Rockies took ‘interim’ off Bill Schmidt’s title. He is now the fourth general manager in Rockies history:
The Colorado Rockies have named Bill Schmidt as the fourth general manager in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/KLyFG9d9fO— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) October 2, 2021
Schmidt was a former scouting director for the Rockies and is currently working his 23rd season with the franchise. He was the immediate replacement for Jeff Bridich after the former Rockies GM resigned in late April. The resignation between Bridich and the Rockies was “mutually agreed” upon, and the club brought on a new team president, Greg Feasel, along with an interim GM in Schmidt.
The Rockies initially stated that a search for a permanent GM would not begin until after the 2021 season was over. The search was short-lived and perhaps earlier than anticipated, as another internal hire was promoted from within the organization.
Schmidt’s official appointment comes shortly after the Rockies hired former Washington Nationals senior analyst Scott Van Lenten on September 21st as their new head of research and development. Ideally the newly-appointed GM will work closely with Van Lenten to solidify and utilize what was the league’s smallest analytics team in 2020.
In a recent Q&A with the Denver Post, Schmidt said of the use of analytics that “we need to get it back.” He also stated that “analytics are no different than any tool. That’s how I look at analytics, as a tool.”
Schmidt also touted his focus on the mental aspects of baseball, conflating their importance with analytics as something the Rockies organization needs to build up. Most importantly, he said, was his ability to “bring a group of people together. It comes down to trusting your people.”
It’s too early to say if Schmidt will be a good GM, but this was the expected move by many because of the franchise’s history of promoting from within rather than searching externally for executives. With that being said, now it’s up to Schmidt and the Rockies to prove he is the right GM to steer this franchise into its next chapter.
Purple Row will continue to monitor and update this developing story.