Midseason(sic) MLB Awards

August 13th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | Filed under Baseball, General, Sports.

midseasonawards

With the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline behind us, the MLB season is coming up on the home stretch of the season. It’s been an interesting season to this point, capped of with one of the biggest Trade Deadlines in recent history.  Aces are running wild, Power Hitters are lighting the league ablaze, and Speedsters are making pitchers think twice when delivering.  This article takes a special look at the valuable and (not so) valuable players this year. First, we begin with the National League.

NL MVP: Clayton Kershaw-SP/Los Angeles Dodgers

Pure Dominance.  Kershaw has by far been the best player in the NL this season, posting a 13-2 record with an impressive 1.71 ERA, and a mind blowing 0.82 WHIP. He has been ridiculously lights-out over his last 9 starts. Since June 13th, Kershaw has pitched 73 innings, allowing 5 runs, whiling mowing down 86 batters. That is insane. His ERA has dropped from 3.17 on June 8th to 1.71 last night. In five of his last nine starts, he has gone 8+ innings, and given up no runs. He has gone the distance five times this season, including 2 shutouts, and a no-hitter against the Rockies, in which he struck out 15 batters. Simply put, Clayton Kershaw is an absolute beast, being dubbed the “Modern-Day Sandy Koufax.”  While it may be rare for a pitcher to win MVP, I have to ask this; Where would the Dodgers be without Kershaw?

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw-SP/Los Angeles Dodgers

*See above statement.

NL Manager Of The Year: Mike Redmond/Miami Marlins

It’s weird seeing the Marlins as a successful team, isn’t it? Well, Marlins fans have this man to thank. After losing ace Jose Fernandez to a season-ending injury earlier this season, it seemed as if the Marlins were in a tailspin. However, due to Redmond’s positive attitude, the Marlins have made an incredible charge back and sit 7 games back in a still up-for-grabs NL East race. Redmond has delivered a new semblance of hope into a stale Marlins clubhouse, and it has re-energized the players. Giancarlo Stanton is leading the clubhouse with his MVP-caliber season, and has become the cornerstone of the Marlins franchise. Whatever Redmond is doing, it is certainly working.

NL Matt Bush (Least Valuable Player): Edwin Jackson-Chicago Cubs

Since signing that monster 4 year, $52 Million contract with the Cubbies back in 2013, Jackson has posted a combined 13-29 record with an ERA well over 6.00. Jackson recorded an 8-18 record with an ERA just a hair under 5.00 last season, and has posted a 5-11 record with a 5.79 ERA this season.  Many thought that when Jackson signed on with the Cubs, he would regain the form he had during his tenures in Tampa Bay, Arizona, and Detroit. However, Jackson has proven to just be a massive disappointment with an abysmal contract.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the American League……..

AL MVP: Jose Abreu-1B/Chicago White Sox

Abreu is a special player. He has burst onto the scene this season in a big way, posting a .308 average with 31 dingers and 84 RBIS, with a .998 OPS.  Even though Abreu has missed 16 games this season, he has still been able to post some impeccable numbers, that are atop the American League (HR, RBI, SLG, OPS), including an impressive 21 game hit streak. The White Sox currently sit 5.5 games back of the last Wild Card position, and Abreu is a primary reason. Time will only tell where the Sox end up if Abreu keeps up this amazing pace,

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez-SP/Seattle Mariners

The King is still in the building. Hernandez is in the midst of another brilliant season, boasting an 11-3 record with a 2.01 ERA, and 0.89 WHIP, while mowing down 178 batters. Hernandez has gone at least 7 innings, while allowing 2 earned runs or fewer in a mind-blowing 19 of his 22 starts this season. Hernandez has tossed multiple gems, including a 1 hit shutout of the Indians on June 29th and a 2 hit outing against the Angels on July 19th. While Hernandez is no stranger to Cy Young awards and discussions, he will need to continue his amazing pace to avoid slipping in a very tough league. With the likes of Scott Kazmir, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, and Masahiro Tanaka lurking in the shadows, Hernandez’s margin for error is slim at this point. This award could very well have a different winner come the end of the season.

AL Manager Of The Year: Bob Melvin/Oakland Athletics

Moneyball?  Bob Melvin has managed to take a team that made it’s name on Moneyball, and turn it into a perennial contender, including 2 AL West titles (2012, 2013). With that said, while Oakland isn’t exactly “Moneyballing” it this season (Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, etc…), Melvin has still positioned the A’s to snag their third straight AL West title this season, while posing as a heavy favorite to represent the American League in the fall classic. Behind the rotational arms of Jon Lester, Sonny Grey, Jeff Samardzija, and Cy-Young candidate Scott Kazmir, Melvin and the A’s seem likely to pitch their way to a 3rd straight AL West title, and possible even their first World Title since 1989.

AL Matt Bush (Least Valuable Player): Ricky Nolasco-SP/Minnesota Twins

Terrible. Nolasco’s season has been an abysmal one (at the least…), following signing a 4 year, $50+ Million contract in the offseason. Posting a 5-7 record, with a 5.9 ERA, Nolasco currently sits on the DL with an elbow injury. He is scheduled to start a rehab assignment on the 6th. I’m not sure if it’s the injured elbow, or the inflated contract given to him, but Nolasco’s performance this year is a far cry from his performance in 2013 for the Dodgers/Marlins. Nolasco may still have some time to avoid this award if he can make a speedy recovery and re-discover his form, but until than, he is the LVP of the AL.

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