The Tampa Bay Rays have been honored with three finalists for baseball’s off-season awards: Kevin Cash for Manager of the year, Charlie Morton for Cy Young, and Brandon Lowe for Rookie of the Year.
Among the three, odds are that Cash has the best probability of a win, as he will be matched against a product of his coaching tree in first year manager Rocco Baldelli, and the Yankees lone representative among the BBWAA finalists manager Aaron Boone.
The Cy Young race is stacked, with Gerrit Cole the front runner. Cole led the league in ERA (Morton third to Verlander), FIP (Morton second, Verlander fourth), K/9 (Verlander second, Morton fifth), and was only 10 innings behind Verlander’s league leading 223 last season. Unless something gets wonky with the vote, it’s Cole’s award.
Brandon Lowe emerged as a front runner for the ROY early in the season, hitting his mammoth home runs for much of the year, but he also missed a significant portion of the second half of the season to injury. While he was on the Injured List, another name emerged...
Yordan Alvarez: 369 PA, 27 HR, 14.1% BB, 25.5% K, .313/.412/.655 line, 178 wRC+
Brandon Low: 327 PA, 17 HR, 7.6% BB, 34.6% K, .270/.336/.514 line, 125 wRC+
Love ya Lowe, but it’s hard to imagine Alvarez not winning this one either. The third competitor is Orioles starter John Means, who put up a neat 3-win season in Baltimore on 155 innings this year.
The full awards, and their date to be announced, are as follows:
Monday, November 11, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Yordan Álvarez (Houston Astros), Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays), John Means (Baltimore Orioles)
NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Pete Alonso (New York Mets), Mike Soroka (Atlanta Braves), Fernando Tatís Jr. (San Diego Padres)
Tuesday, November 12, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Manager of the Year: Rocco Baldelli (Minnesota Twins), Aaron Boone (New York Yankees), Kevin Cash (Tampa Bay Rays
NL Manager of the Year: Craig Counsell (Milwaukee Brewers), Mike Shildt (St. Louis Cardinals), Brian Snitker (Atlanta Braves)
Wednesday, November 13, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Cy Young Award: Gerrit Cole (Houston Astros), Charlie Morton (Tampa Bay Rays), Justin Verlander (Houston Astros)
NL Cy Young Award: Jacob deGrom (New York Mets), Hyun-Jin Ryu (Los Angeles Dodgers), Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals)
Thursday, November 14, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Most Valuable Player: Alex Bregman (Houston Astros), Marcus Semien (Oakland Athletics), Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)
NL Most Valuable Player: Cody Bellinger (Los Angeles Dodgers), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers)
Oh, and as a reminder, the Reliever of the Year award was handed out during the playoffs, inexplicably to Aroldis Chapman and Josh Hader, both of whom were not the best relievers in their leagues last season (that was Liam Hendricks and Kirby Yates by some distance). But that award is not decided by the BBWAA, but instead by eight former players...