Tag:Brandon Webb
Posted on: September 19, 2008 12:57 am
Edited on: September 19, 2008 12:58 am

MLB Awards Projections

The following are my projected winners of the 2008 MLB awards:

National League
1. Tim Lincecum, Giants
2. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
3. Brad Lidge, Phillies
1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. Ryan Howard, Phillies
3. Brad Lidge, Phillies
1. Geovany Soto, Cubs
2. Jair Jurrjens, Braves
3. Jay Bruce, Reds
1. Tony LaRussa, Cardinals
2. Fredi Gonzalez, Marlins
3. Lou Pinella, Cubs
1. Randy Johnson, Diamondbacks
2. Jorge Cantu, Marlins
3. Fernando Tatis, Mets

American League
1. Cliff Lee, Indians
2. Fransisco Rodriguez, Angels
3. Roy Halladay, Jays
1. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
2. Fransisco Rodriguez, Angels
3. Justin Morneau, Twins
1. Evan Longoria, Rays
2. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
3. David Murphy, Rangers
1. Joe Maddon, Rays
2. Ron Gardenhire, Twins
3. Mike Scioscia, Angels
1. Cliff Lee, Indians
2. Milton Bradley, Rangers
3. Carlos Quentin, White Sox

A few notes about my projections:
1. I have put Brad Lidge into the top three for NL Cy Young AND MVP because he is 38-for-38 in saves with a 1.93 ERA this season.  Without him closing games, I don't see the Phillies on top of the NL East.  He's finally returned to his "lights-out" form from Houston three seasons ago.  He has a chance to finish this season without a blown save, a very difficult accomplishment.
2. The Cardinals won't make the playoffs this season, but Tony LaRussa has done an excellent job keeping the team above water and in contention this season.  On paper in spring training, they not only had an awful bullpen, but a jumbled starting rotation.  It also didn't look like they had much in the lineup outside of Albert Pujols.  The Cards' bullpen has still been bad and is the reason why they won't reach October, but that rotation has exceeded expectations, and Ryan Ludwick has emerged as a dangerous hitter in the lineup.  I didn't envision this team being above .500 or even in third place for as long as they were.  Fredi Gonzalez has also done a tremendous job keeping a young Marlins team who was expected to be terrible in contention all season long.

3. Randy Johnson is my pick for NL Comeback Player of the Year because he hs managed to win 10 games with a 3.99 ERA during a season in which he turned 45 years old.  He has had a couple of back surgeries over the last few years, and, with as badly as he pitched just after he came off the disabled list earlier this season, I thought that he should have retired.  But, he has been brilliant for about three months now, and he would have passed 300 wins in July if the Diamondbacks offense and bullpen didn't let him down so much.  I didn't expect the future Hall of Famer to pitch nearly as well as he has this season.

4. Brandon Webb has won 21 games, but Tim Lincecum is my Cy Young winner in the National League because his ERA (2.43) and strikeouts (237) are the highest totals in the NL, and his wins (17) are the second-best.  The Giants are 68-85 and have been mired in fourth place all season long.  A 17-4 record for one pitcher on a team this bad is very impressive.  If you put him on any of the playoff- contending teams in the NL, Lincecum is probably over 20 wins.  Webb has been on a contending team all season long and his three bad outings at the start of September really hurt his chances.  It doesn't seem like Lincecum has had a terrible outing this season.  Victories aren't everything with the Cy Young.   
Posted on: September 3, 2008 2:32 pm

My Take on the National League Cy Young Race

This may sound a bit biased seeing as I'm a die-hard Diamondbacks fan, but, as far as I'm concerned, the NL Cy Young Race at this point of the season is between Brandon Webb and Tim Lincecum.  I really don't think CC Sabathia should be eligible for the award because he has been dominating the NL for half the season.  He was just 6-8 with a 3.83 ERA with the Indians.  We all know that the AL has stronger lineups.  Sabathia started pitching well right before he was traded to Milwaukee, but he allowed 9 ER in back-to-back starts in early April, and 4 ER in his very first start of the season and in two May starts.  As soon as he came to the NL, he regained his Cy Young form from last season.  I think this has more to do with the weaker lineups of the NL than it has to do with CC himself.  I am intrigued to see how well he would be pitching right now if he were still in the AL. 

I also don't think it is fair to give a pitcher who switched leagues in the middle of the season baseball's most prestigious award over two pitchers who have been in one league for the entire season.  Rick Sutcliffe won the 1984 NL Cy Young Award after starting the season in the NL, but there weren't any other NL candidates capable of challenging Sutcliffe that season.  Joaquin Andujar led the NL with 20 wins in '84, but he also lost 14 games.  Bruce Sutter finished third in the balloting but his record was only 5-7, and runner-up Dwight Gooden had 9 losses.  Sabathia has stiff competition in the NL this season.  Webb has won 19 games, and looks to be the NL's first 20-game winner since 2005, and Lincecum has a 15-3 record and a 2.60 ERA for a Giants team that has lost 79 games this season.  Webb's ERA is 3.19.  Sabathia's current ERA sits at 2.82, but we have to keep in mind his poor starts from early in the season and the fact that he allowed 4 ER in 6.2 innings to the NL's best hitting team, the Cubs

I'm not saying that I hate Sabathia.  I really respect the man, and think that he's one of baseball's better pitchers.  It's just that he'd have a more strong case for the NL Cy Young Award had he started the season in the NL or pitched better in the AL before going to the Brewers.  If Webb turns things around for the remainder of his starts this season and leads the D-backs to the playoffs, I'd give the award to him; if the D-backs ace continues to struggle, I'd give the award to Lincecum.  The Cy Young is supposed to be based on performance over a full season, not half of a season.  
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