The Cleveland Guardians hired Stephen Vogt as their new manager to replace Terry Francona, making him their 46th skipper in franchise history.
Vogt was hired over a slew of other candidates, including Los Angeles Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough. He interviewed with the Guardians late last month and was said to have impressed during that process.
The Guardians reportedly were in search of a young manager who could incorporate the use of analytics as part of in-game strategy and also oversee a cohesive clubhouse as Francona did throughout his 11 years at the helm.
Vogt enjoyed a 10-year career that included two All-Star Game appearances. He retired after the 2022 season and spent the past year as the Seattle Mariners quality control and bullpen coach. Vogt does not have any prior managerial experience.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Stephen and his family to Northeast Ohio and to name him the next manager of the Cleveland Guardians,” Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said in a statement.
“Stephen earned a reputation as one of the best teammates in the game across his 16-year career as a player, and we’ve greatly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him over the past several weeks. Stephen has thought critically about the type of leader and manager he wants to be.
‘His deep care for others, his ability to build meaningful relationships with those around him, and his open-mindedness and curiosity make him an ideal fit to lead our club moving forward. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Stephen.”
McCullough shared a connection to the Cleveland organization as he was picked by the then-Indians in the 22nd round of the 2002 MLB draft out of East Carolina. McCullough played four Minor League seasons with them, batting .197 with one home run and 25 RBI before beginning a coaching career.
This marks yet another instance in which McCullough interviewed for a managerial position as he previously did so with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals.
Clayton McCullough coaching experience
McCullough completed his third season as the Dodgers first base coach and ninth overall with the organization. In 2020, he served as a Minor League field coordinator and helped oversee the Dodgers’ operations at the alternate site on the USC campus during the pandemic-shortened season.
In addition, he served on the All-Star coaching staff in 2021 following the Dodgers’ World Series victory the season prior.
Before joining the Dodgers organization in 2015, McCullough worked for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2006-2014, serving as manager of the GCL Blue Jays (2007), Class-A Lansing Lugnuts (2008-2009), Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays (2010-2011) and Class-A Vancouver Canadians (2012-2013).
McCullough posted a combined 402-367 record during his managerial career in the Blue Jays organization.
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