Stuart Madden, who took the Seattle Salts to the playoffs last year with an AEL record-tying 63 wins, and team record attendance of 1,866,071 fans, has signed on to manage the Arizona Cowboys, following the departure of Kevin Norris.
Madden’s tenure with the Salts last year was marked by his religious adherence to sabermetrics, the advanced analysis of player statistics and trends. He was considered popular among most of the players, and many of them exceeded expectations under his tutelage.
Now, division rival Arizona will try to utilize Madden’s apparent natural gift for understanding the nuances of the stats side of baseball.
The acquisition could not have been timed better. After the departure of GM/Manager Norris, the new GM, Chris Meadows, who was promoted from the Assistant GM position, needed a reliable field manager to handle the talented acquisitions the club had made during the offseason.
James Benson, one of the best scouts in baseball when it comes to keying up amateurs and the minor league system, also helped Meadows with some key offseason acquisitions, including international free agent shortstop Tak-keung Yang.
He also scouted reliever Trevor Rudisill, a right-hander who was released from the Montreal Metros organization after only reaching AA-level, last October. Benson’s keen scouting predicted Rudisill’s fastball to see some improvement in the offseason and he was right. The 29-year-old is now throwing 95-97 mph, up from 94-96. The Cowboys signed him to a minor league deal and placed him on their AAA-level roster. By January, they had purchased the contract. So far, after three appearances, Rudisill is 1-1 with a save, and a 4.26 ERA.