Managers of the Year: Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo and Twins’ Paul Molitor – USA TODAY
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In his first year as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Torey Lovullo lifted the franchise from a 69-win season in 2016 to 93, third most in the National League, and a postseason appearance in 2017.
For his accomplishments, Lovullo was named the NL’s Manager of the Year, the Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America announced on Tuesday.
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In the American League, Paul Molitor, a finalist for the award for the second time in three years, led the Minnesota Twins to a surprise run to the AL Wild Card Game to win his first Manager of the Year award.
Molitor received 18 of 30 first-place votes and 111 total points. Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians received 11 first place votes and A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros received one to finish second and third, respectively.
Lovullo received 18 of 30 first-place votes and 111 total points. Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers received five first place votes and Bud Black of the Colorado Rockies received three to finish second and third, respectively.
Under Lovullo, the D’backs finished second in the NL West with a 93-69 record to earn a wild card berth. They beat the Rockies in the wild-card game and advanced to the NL Division Series, where they were swept by the eventual NL champion Dodgers.
The players credit Lovullo’s success by helping create a good clubhouse culture and the ability to communicate freely.
Lovullo, 52, became the third Diamondbacks manager to win the award, following Bob Melvin (2007) and Kirk Gibson (2011).
The Twins, with the ninth lowest payroll in the majors, turned a 103-loss season in 2016 to an 85-win year — an MLB-high 26-game improvement. In doing so, the Twins became the first club to go from losing 100 games to making the postseason the next year.
In a mid-season twist, the Twins became sellers at the July 31 trading deadline after going 50-53. But after winning 20 games in August, Molitor led the Twins to the second wild card berth.
Molitor, a Hall of Famer, and the Twins lost to the New York Yankees 8-4 in the wild card game.
Gallery: Recent Manager of the Year winners