97 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report
144 – Number of days until Opening Day
We know who the finalists are for several postseason awards and today I'm going to share who I think will win and why:
AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Chris Davis
My Winner: Miguel Cabrera
There is conversation about Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout deserving this award, and I’m not opposed to rewarding players from losing teams. I supported Andre Dawson when he won the award in 1987 on a last place the Chicago Cubs club. However, Cabrera topped Trout in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The Tigers offense struggled when Cabrera was injured toward the end of the season and into October. Trout's overall body of work was awesome for the most disappointing team in baseball, but Cabrera posted .348/44/137 in just 144 games. Yes, these are better offensive stats than his 2012 Triple Crown season!
NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCuthen, Yadier Molina
My Winner: Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt led the entire National League in five different major categories: home runs (36), runs batted in (125), slugging percentage (.551), OPS (.952) and total bases (332). In addition, Goldschmidt stole 15 bases, scored 103 runs and only missed two games for a team in the wild card race until the final few weeks of the season. Goldschmidt also won NL Offensive Player of the Year and a gold glove last week. He truly is the team leader in Arizona.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG: Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma
My Winner: Max Scherzer
This one won't even be close as Scherzer’s 21 wins and near 90 percent winning rate will win him the award. Scherzer struck out 10.08 hitters per nine innings and 240 total. That was good for second-best in the AL, while his 0.97 WHIP led the American League.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG: Jose Fernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright
My Winner: Clayton Kershaw
I'll apologize now for not putting up much of a case for why Kershaw will win the National League Cy Young this year. Kershaw’s 1.83 ERA was the lowest for a starting pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2005. Kershaw is not only going to win the Cy Young award, but he is an MVP candidate this year and will win his second Cy Young award in three seasons. September was Kershaw's worst month of the season when he posted a 2.53 ERA, but Kershaw still owned the NL best in ERA (1.83), WHIP (0.92) and strikeouts (232).
AMERICAN LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE YEAR: John Ferrell, Terry Francona, Bob Melvin
My Winner: John Ferrell
Postseasons are not factored into voting, but I’d be surprised if Ferrell didn’t capture the award. He took a 69-win Boston team to 97 wins and their third World Series title in the past decade.
NATIONAL LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Clint Hurdle, Don Mattingly, Fredi Gonzalez
My Winner: Clint Hurdle
This is not even close for me to pick Hurdle. All the pieces finally fit in Pittsburgh this season, as the Pirates with the National League's second lowest payroll finally made the playoffs after a 21-year absence.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Chris Archer, Jose Iglesias, Wil Myers
My Winner: Wil Myers
This is a fairly easy selection for me. Wil Myers was recalled by the Tampa Bay Rays on June 18th and all he did was hit a grand slam off CC Sabathia in Yankee Stadium just days later. He only played in 88 games, but he still led all AL Rookies in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller
My Winner: Jose Fernandez
Jose Fernandez was impressive from his first start of the season and finished the year with a 2.19 ERA. Fernandez is just the fourth rookie ever with a sub 2.20 ERA and finished second in the National League with 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings. He gave up just 5.8 hits per nine innings this season. The media will select Yasiel Puig, but Fernandez should win the award.
98 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report
145 – Number of days until Opening Day
As General Managers and Owners make their way to Orlando next week for their annual meetings, there is just one General Manager and Owner that needs to hire a manager for next season. That team is the Chicago Cubs and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. There are multiple reports floating around that this search is close to coming to an end as soon as today or tomorrow. Rick Renteria appears to be the front runner and I think he is the right guy for the job for multiple reasons and I outline them in today's addition of MLB In Full Bloom.
News & Notes