Since the Los Angeles Dodgers hired Dave Roberts as manager, they have improved each year, making it to the National League Championship Series in his first season and then the World Series each of the next two.
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They have not been able to reach their ultimate goal of winning a World Series though. After dropping Game 7 of the World Series to the Houston Astros last year, the Dodgers watched the Boston Red Sox celebrate at Dodger Stadium after a Game 5 win.
The 2018 season was an unconventional one for Roberts and the Dodgers, as they faced a ton of adversity early on. Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Clayton Kershaw, among others, were lost to injury, which led to a 16-26 start.
They were able to right the ship and won a sixth straight National League West championship and made a run back to the World Series.
Despite all the success he has had in his short tenure, Roberts’ future with the Dodgers organization remains in question. His contract includes a team option for 2019 but it’s one the Dodgers have not exercised.
It appears the front office nonetheless is pleased with what they have seen out of their manager, as president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the Dodgers plan to sign Roberts to an extension, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
Friedman also said the Dodgers intend to complete a long-term contract extension for manager Dave Roberts.
Roberts has taken plenty of criticism from fans and pundits in each of his three seasons at the helm. It’s primarily stemmed from how he manages the pitching staff and platoon lineups he puts out during the postseason.
That was again the case in the 2018 World Series, specifically Game 4, because of which relief pitchers Roberts called on in key situations. Some of that is pre-determined with input from the front office, which means Friedman and his group share some of the burden.
Even though the Dodgers didn’t win the World Series in 2018, they are inching closer and closer to their ultimate goal and it looks like Roberts will remain manager if or when they finally reach the mountain top.