As I follow Pirates games on twitter and read some of the better Pirates blogs out there, there’s always an uproar whenever Clint Hurdle calls for a bunt. In fact a Google search for “hurdle bad bunt” yields 65,400 results in the last year alone. Clearly some of the decisions seems questionable at best and asinine at worst.
But how does Hurdle compare to other managers in calling bunts and intentional walks? Jacob Peterson at Beyond the Box Score has put together a simple metric which he calls the Traditional Manager Index. The TMI is simply sacrifice bunts by position players added to intentional walks. There’s a lovely graphic which I’ll let you click through to see, but the upshot is that Hurdle ranks #21 in total TMI with a score of 20 (The range is from 8-36).
And sac bunts alone? Hurdle has ordered eight non-pitcher bunts, good for 18th place, and below the average of 10.4 (range: 4-20).
My takeaway: While not optimal, Clint Hurdle is not nearly the worst offender at meddling with game situations. I think his enthusiasm and motivational skills make up for a few bad calls.