Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cy Young Award - AL 2007

I’ve never seen this before. By the numbers, there are eleven legitimate contenders for the American League Cy Young award this year. Some are going to finish low in the balloting – Kazmir pitches for Tampa Bay, the poor bastard, so that knocks his victories down, and playing for a “winner” is important to some voters. Different fans have different preferences for what they like to see in a pitcher. I lean toward ERA and IP myself. But whatever your preference, and whoever you pick, you can see that there are two or three other pitchers who bring nearly the same credential to the vote. As a Red Sox fan, I hope Beckett wins it, but it’s not like I think any of the other ten would be a poor choice. Quite amazing. You may never see this again.

Fausto Carmona CLE / 17-8 / 202 IP / 126 SO / 3.07 ERA
Dan Haren OAK / 14-7 / 203 IP / 174 SO / 3.11 ERA
Johann Santana MIN / 15-12 / 209 IP / 220 SO / 3.14 ERA
Eric Bedard BAL / 13-5 / 182 IP / 221 SO / 3.16 ERA
Josh Beckett BOS / 19-6 / 189 IP / 180 SO / 3.20 ERA
John Lackey LAA / 16-9 / 202 IP / 160 SO / 3.21 ERA
CC Sabathia CLE / 17-7 / 227 IP / 198 SO / 3.21 ERA
Kelvim Escobar LAA / 17-7 / 186 IP / 153 SO / 3.25 ERA
Justin Verlander DET / 17-5 / 184 IP / 166 SO / 3.47 ERA
Scott Kazmir TAM / 13-8 / 196 IP / 220 SO / 3.54 ERA
Chien-Ming Wang / 18-7 / 186 IP / 94 SO / 3.82 ERA

1 comment:

Michael said...

Another thing some voters like is wins, which is why Santana, whose team has performed under expectations this year, will get little support as well. The fact that voters like pitchers on winning teams is a bit of a farce. It is not the most valuable pitcher award, it is the best pitcher award. Look at Steve Carlton (1972?) when he had half of his team's wins, but they still finished dead last. He won the award, because no one else came close to his personal accomplishments that year. The same cannot be said of Santana and Kazmir this year, so they will battle for the strikeout championship and be also rans in the balloting.

MLB.com did a review of this last week and I thought it was a much more shallow review than you put together. They basically had it between Wang, Beckett, Sabathia, Lackey and Escobar. They then said Lackey and Escobar would cancel each other out. They also gave little regard to Carmona because he plays with Sabathia. The only thing Wang has going for him is wins, and I think we could agree that Kazmir, playing for the Yankees, would have as many or more wins than Wang. If strikeouts impress the voters, then Wang is out. His loss to Beckett Saturday didn't help him, either. Another question I heard posed was "is Wang even the best pitcher on his team". Bedard and Verlander have been shut down for the year hurting their chances. Haran has the same problem as Santana and Kazmir - he plays for a team out of contention and the win total is low, but he has been #1 in ERA most of the season. As a Sox fan, I agree with your sentiment for Beckett, but Sabathia could edge him out. It isn't often that the Cy Young comes down to the final 2-3 starts, but this is the year.