2. Bad Decision-Making
In 2018, Cora pushed all the right buttons. When your team wins 119 games including the playoffs, you must be doing something right.
Since then, however, Cora’s decision-making has often come under scrutiny. He pushed his starting pitchers hard during that 2018 title run, using David Price, Chris Sale and Nate Eovaldi in relief on their scheduled bullpen days. This win-at-all-costs mentality succeeded in 2018, but backfired spectacularly in 2019 when they ended up getting hurt, likely due to overuse.
Cora has tended to run relief pitchers into the ground as well, notably Matt Barnes in 2021 and John Schreiber in 2022. Bullpen management is always easy to nitpick, and that’s been especially true of Cora.
His handling of position players has also raised questions. He’s been much more cautious with them for some reason (perhaps because he was a position player himself), often sticking to their scheduled rest days and keeping them out of the lineup for important games. He’s also played players out of position (remember Bobby Dalbec at shortstop?) far too frequently and has tended to give too much leash to struggling players like Andrew Benintendi in 2019, Jarren Duran in 2022 and Enrique Hernandez this year.
While Cora hasn’t always had the best players to work with thanks to Chaim Bloom’s poor roster construction, Cora isn’t without fault for sometimes asking too much of his players and not putting them in the best position to succeed.