Let's not confuse cause and affect too much here. Baldelli's basically never managed a team that's spent a day outside of first place. He's never managed in a race, never even managed a game in June. He has a team that's wildly over-achieving and playing .667 baseball. It's been beyond easy to spread playing time, and portray a 'soft'/patient vibe.
Fast forward to a hypothetical 2020 scenario. It's mid-July, and the Twins with high expectations, have been under-performing for weeks, and were just beat 3 games to 1 in a series against the upstart White Sox to fall into a tie for first place in the central. Tougher to stick with the ideal rotations at that point. And what demeanor will everyone (including leaders in the clubhouse) be looking for from Baldelli in that scenario? Every good manager has to have the 'coddling' card AND the 'field general' card in their toolbox. There were plenty of 'field managers'...the ones that did it right...that had the respect of their players. That will still be possible, I think. Every reason to be optimistic regarding Baldelli, but too early to pigeon-hole him into a category, IMO.
Just a couple of thoughts in response to your post. No one will argue that the Twins have been alot closer to the worst team in the A.L. than the best for quite a few years now. In the last 4 years they've lost 185 road games, pretty much against the good bad and ugly of the Major Leagues. You can't just look at Baldelli as the reason for the turn-around. The Twins finally have a front office with a long term vision that they are truly committed to!! Example: The Twins made a habit every year of taking flyers on "cheap" free agents, hoping that a couple would pan out. Today, they have completely embraced analytics and the "flyers" they gambled on weren't flyers at all. while success was by no means guaranteed, each signee in this off-season had an attainable upside that was well worth investing in.
Cron, Schoop, Gonzales, Cruz and Perez had big upside or reliable expectations based on recent performance or an environment that would increase their likelihood of success based on real statistical data, not a hope and dream of striking gold. Sano and Buxton are being groomed for success now instead of expecting it as a gift from God. Baldelli has looked so good as a manager because he was chosen to lead this team based on his understanding of analytics and his ability to apply this in his teaching and managing. Some interesting stats.
1. The Twins have now played 49 games, 26 on the road. They have yet to lose more than two games in a row. That's at least in part due to good managing.
2. He has been teaching the one thing that ensures success as a team. We are a team!!! We will fail or succeed together, creating a true all for one and one for all environment.
3. He believes in his players, and has shown that through some moments that left me wondering if he had a clue i.e. Cron, Gonzales, Adrianza etc slumps as well as with his relievers, having most of them enjoy success in high leverage situations.
Is this a team that will win at a .667 clip all year? I doubt it, but this is a team built to win today, based on the game today. Maybe we should look at management the same way we look at the players, They're a TEAM