Rockies hire Black as manager
The Colorado Rockies have selected the man they hope can lead a star-studded roster back to the World Series.
Bud Black was confirmed as the Rockies' new manager on Monday.
His appointment comes after Walt Weiss stepped down in October following the expiration of his three-year contract.
Black has plenty of managerial experience in MLB, going 649-713 in nine seasons in San Diego with the Padres. He was fired after a 32-33 start in 2015.
Black's arrival will have raised expectations in Colorado, with the Rockies having not been relevant since 2009 when they reached the National League Division Series, two years after progressing to the World Series.
While it is unclear whether the team will hang on to long-time All-Star Carlos Gonzalez, frequently the target of trade talks in recent seasons, the line-up is dotted with young stars.
Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado led the team in home runs with 41 last season while shortstop Trevor Story was the front-runner for NL rookie of the year before a season-ending injury.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu finished 2016 as the NL batting champion and slugging outfielder Charlie Blackmon hit 29 homers and 82 RBIs.
The Rockies' starting pitching, so often a crippling weakness, is showing promise with a group of youngsters seemingly ready to break through.
Black, a former pitcher during his playing days, was named NL Manager of the Year in 2010 after guiding the Padres to a 90-72 record. That team finished second in MLB with a collective ERA of 3.39.
Black served as a special assistant with the Los Angeles Angels last season.