Ideological debate shapes awards watch (cont.)
1. Roy Halladay, RHP, Phillies (1)
Season Stats: 18-10, 2.44 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 7.18 K/BB, 8 CG, 3 SHO>
2) Adam Wainwright, RHP, Cardinals (2)
Season Stats: 18-10, 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 3.75 K/BB, 5 CG, 2 SHO
In this impossibly tight race, Halladay had the edge despite his slightly higher ERA because of all of the extra outs he has recorded this season. Wainwright has thrown 208 1/3 innings. Halladay has thrown 228 2/3, which leads the major leagues. That means Halladay has recorded 61 more outs than Wainwright. That's more than two full games worth of innings and outs that Halladay has covered for his team. In a race this close, those sorts of things matter.
3) Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, Rockies (3)
Season Stats: 18-6, 2.75 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 2.35 K/BB, 4 CG, 2 SHO
The Marlins' Josh Johnson has actually pitched better than Jimenez on the year and even had a more impressive run of dominance than Jimenez's season-opening salvo. In Jimenez' first 14 starts of the season, he posted a 1.15 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, and 2.44 K/BB. During that run, Jimenez held his competition to one or zero runs 10 times. However, over a 14-start stretch from May 13 to July 27, Johnson posted a 1.01 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and 6.19 K/BB. During that run, Johnson held his competition to one or zero runs 12 times. Still Jimenez went deeper into his games on average, completing three of them (Johnson completed none), two of them shutouts, and he got the offensive support required to cash in that run with a 13-1 record (Johnson went 7-2). He also had the good sense to start the season that way, so no one had to dig into the gamelogs to see how dominant he had been. For those reasons, Jimenez is likely to out-poll Johnson when the Cy Young vote is finally registered.
1. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Rangers (1)
Season Stats: 3.05 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 3.88 K/BB, 36 SV
Feliz's next save will tie the rookie record, which he now seems like a lock to break. When Kaz Sasaki set the record in 2000, he won the Rookie of the Year, when Todd Worrell set the record Sasaki broke in 1986 (his 36 rookie saves still stand as the NL record), he, too, won the Rookie of the Year. When Doug Corbett set the mark Worrell broke with 24 saves in 1980 . . . well, he finished third behind Cleveland sensation "Super Joe" Charboneau, but to the best of my knowledge, Austin Jackson doesn't open beer bottles with his eye socket.
2) Austin Jackson, CF, Tigers (2)
Season Stats: .305/.361/.415, 3 HR, 32 RBIs, 22 SB
Missing from Jackson's line above are his 94 runs scored, 10 triples, 31 doubles . . . and his AL-leading 152 strikeouts. Jackson's K's show no sign of slowing down, but his walks have picked up in the last two months. Even without his first four career intentional passes, Jackson has walked 15 times in his last 176 plate appearances after walking just 15 times in his previous 318 PA. Sure, batting ahead of Will Rhymes (the motivation for three of those four IBBs) might have something to do with that, but Jackson has now posted better numbers in the second half of his rookie season than the first half (.310/.370/.431 to .300/.354/.403), giving hope to Tigers fans that there's more here than some athleticism, a bunch of strikeouts, and a lot of luck on balls in play. If I was building a team, I'd rather have a center fielder with Jackson's ability than a shut-down closer, but I'd take Feliz's future as a starting pitcher over either.
3) Wade Davis, RHP, Rays (N/A)
Season Stats: 12-9, 4.24 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.68 K/BB
Davis has gone 7-0 with a 3.34 ERA over his last nine starts, which is particularly impressive given the fact that a shoulder strain sent him to the disabled list in the middle of that run. Since his return, he has gone 3-0 with a 3.24 in four starts, though it's all too little too late to catch Feliz and Jackson.
1. Jaime Garcia, LHP, Cardinals (1)
Season Stats: 13-7, 2.69 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 2.03 K/BB
Garcia and Davis are the only two rookies to have reached double-digit wins on the season and even though Garcia's last start was a dud (seven earned runs allowed in four innings), he still ranks sixth in the NL and ninth in the majors in ERA. Among rookies, just five of whom qualify for the ERA title to this point in the season, the man closest to Garcia's 2.69 ERA is the Mets' Jonathon Niese, who has a 3.85 mark, more than a run worse than Garcia's. Drop the cut-off to 80 innings pitched (roughly half of Garcia's total) and Garcia still leads major league rookies by more than a half a run over the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, who has a 3.28 ERA.
2. Jason Heyward, RF, Braves (2)
Season Stats: .289/.399/.481, 17 HR, 68 RBIs, 9 SB
Heyward's late-season push for this award continues as he enters Monday night's action with an active 10-game hitting streak during which he has hit .359/.479/.487, the relative lack of power being the only negative in that stretch. If Heyward can round up his current numbers (to, say, 20 homers, 80 RBIs, a .290 average, .400 OBP, and .500 slugging, some of which is less likely than others), he could yet take this award from Garcia, who has been the clear frontrunner ever since Heyward hurt his thumb back in May.
3) Buster Posey, C, Giants (3)
Season Stats: .324/.369/.509, 13 HR, 59 RBIs
With a nod to Pirates second baseman Neil Walker and his active 18-game hitting streak, during which he has hit .364/.395/.701 with five homers and 18 RBIs, Posey, who hit in 21 straight games in July, still gets the honorable mention spot in this race as Walker's hot streak has yet to push his season stats past those of San Francisco's future-star backstop.
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