Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nats finalists for BBWAA awards

Davey Johnson, Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez have all been named finalists for major awards that will be handed out next week by the Baseball Writers Association.

Harper is a finalist for NL Rookie of the Year, which will be announced Monday evening. Johnson is up for NL Manager of the Year, to be revealed Tuesday evening. And Gio Gonzalez was among the top three finishers in voting for the NL Cy Young Award, the winner set to be named next Wednesday evening.

The only BBWAA award without a finalist from the Nationals will be NL MVP, though both Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond are expected to have received top 10 votes by the writers.

Of the three Nationals who were named finalists, Johnson appears the likeliest award winner. The 69-year-old manager guided a franchise that had never posted a winning season since it arrived in Washington in 2005 to an MLB-best 98 wins and the NL East title before it lost the NLDS to the Cardinals in five games.

Johnson's toughest competition will come from Dusty Baker, who led the Reds to a 97-65 record. Bruce Bochy, whose Giants went on to win the World Series, is the third finalist among NL managers.

(Voting for all BBWAA awards are submitted before the start of the playoffs, so only regular-season performance is taken into consideration.)

Harper appears to have a good chance of becoming the first Washington player to win Rookie of the Year honors since Senators outfielders Albie Pearson and Bob Allison captured back-to-back awards in 1958 and 1959.

Harper led all NL rookies with 98 runs and 57 extra-base hits, finished second with 22 homers and 18 stolen bases and third with a .477 slugging percentage and .817 OPS. The other rookie finalists in the NL: Reds third baseman Todd Frazier and Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley.

Gonzalez faces a tougher challenge to capture NL Cy Young Award honors, with Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey the odds-on favorite to win. Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw also finished among the top three.

The five finalists for NL MVP: Giants catcher Buster Posey, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, Padres third baseman Chase Headley and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. The winner of that award will be revealed on Nov. 15.

52 comments:

Gonat said...

Davey has to be a lock for MOY. Bryce should be the ROY if the voters really dive into the numbers.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
I agree Ghost.....Rendon was the only name that made me wince in the group you named.

November 07, 2012 7:05 PM
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I think its good to hear the DBacks want Espi. Clip is an All Star. Couldn't those 2 be enough?

NatsJack in Florida said...

No. In order to trade a player like JUpton, they'll have to feel like they won the deal.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, Agreed, probably want to sell it to their fanbase how they got the better of the deal.

SonnyG10 said...

Well, if we trade those guys, they will have won the deal!

MicheleS said...

Extremely proud to have 3 guys in the mix for the post season awards. Can't wait for Bryce Next year and also to see what Gio can do in his year 2 with the Nats.

Amanda and Kilgore have both reported from the GM meetings that Rizzo expects Davey to be manager.

FOR THE LOVE OF #$%(*(!!!!! GET THAT DEAL DONE! DAVEY IN 2013 (bribes are still available)

Also reporting they are talking to ALR's agent. Please keep Adam (just my opinion)

Gonat said...

SonnyG10 said...
Well, if we trade those guys, they will have won the deal!

November 07, 2012 7:33 PM
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Agreed. That is worse than the Gio trade if Rizzo did that deal.

baseballswami said...

Bryce and Gio first Nats season. ALR and Davey first full Nats season. I think ALR can probably have another great season, maybe not better. Bryce and Gio should get better-- or at least more consistent. Davey, who knows? I don't think any of the four were flukes.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...

Also reporting they are talking to ALR's agent. Please keep Adam (just my opinion)

November 07, 2012 7:37 PM
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Here's what I love. Rizzo talking to DBacks GM. News spills. Adam's agents have to freak out. If the Nats got JUpton, they are "out" on ALR. Now ALR just lost his biggest bargaining chip to push for a long-term deal.

This could be a huge week for the Nats!

Gonat said...

Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP
Rizzo honest on not giving Jackson a qualifying offer: He liked the free agents available better than Jackson, didn't want to get locked in.

Gonat said...

Nick Piecoro ‏@nickpiecoro
GM Kevin Towers on Upton: "We're not shopping him. When people ask about him, we listen."

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat at 7:44, good point on LaRoche's leverage changes as other clubs fill their needs and if the Nats look elsewhere then LaRoche loses his biggest suitor.

Gonat said...

Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
#Braves are happy w/ their pitching depth: Hudson, Medlen, Minor, Maholm & Hanson, plus Teheran, Delgado & Gilmartin in minors.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The Tweeter is busy tonight with Davey news! Winning fishing tournaments!

Gonat said...

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/07/red-sox-expected-to-pursue-a-trade-for-justin-upton/

SteveM, looks like a lot of teams getting mixed in on the Justin Upton sweepstakes.

UnkyD said...

Baseball..... is so COOL!!! There's really no offseason! Always something to talk about.... Especially if you're lucky enough to be a Nats Insider... Keep up the chat, my Imaginary Friends...:)

SonnyG10 said...

Unkyd, we're virtual, not imaginary :)

Teddy Rochlis said...

well interesting discussions on Upton trade possibilities, but we are talking major players in clippard and espinosa not like the gio deal where it was all minor league rs could get costly, considering we don't have an mlb ready 2nd baseman behind espi. And Davey will win, Bryce will win (people tend to remember the first and last thing and bryce started and ended hot) and r.a. will win cy, oh and posey for mvp, all my opinions of course but lets see how it plays out

sjm308 said...

Was just looking up Upton's stats on Baseball Ref.com. Some pretty impressive stuff there & also a couple of interesting articles from Ariz. blogs. One guy is comparing him to Matt Kemp. I was surprised he is so young (Desmond & Espinosa are both older), and my first thought was that Clip & Espinosa was too high a price, but I am having 2nd thoughts on that now. If you keep Rendon out of the mix, I think we would score big getting Upton. Bryce stays in CF, Werth stays as leadoff, and we have one of the best defensive outfields in all of baseball!! It gives Rendon a shot a moving up quicker, you still have Lombo to start at 2nd and there are lots and lots of utility type guys out there to fill Lombo's old spot. Bullpen is our strength and while Natslady will be upset, Clip can be replaced with Garcia, Matheus, or even signing Madson. I am now in the camp for making this move. Nothing like the hot stove to keep an old guy excited.

Go Nats!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think trading for Upton is a bit too aggressive at this time.

MicheleS said...

So last year we had Natitude as our catch phrase. This year, i would like it to be Unfininshed Business courtesy of Davey.

Gonat said...

If the Twitter rumors are true on Justin Upton, the DBacks are fielding offers from 5 to 10 teams and probably more. Who wouldn't want a player of his calibre. Rizzo can certainly put together that type of package but some of the other teams can't and Upton has partial veto power to not go to certain teams on his "no trade" list.

They list Texas as being in the mix. Last week they said besides Profar, they only have 1 other top tier prospect. They have almost no depth from what I can see to make that deal and the Yankees are probably in the same situation.

The Nats could make that deal except it would hurt depth to do that exact trade and DBacks need it to be a blockbuster.

I think if the Nats are in it to get Upton that Washington will be on his "trade" list as he has partial veto over other teams. This could also help the Nats much the same way as it hurt the Royals when trying to trade Greinke as the Nats put together the best package and didn't get Greinke a couple of years ago as he went to the Brewers whose package wasn't as good.

Gonat said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
I think trading for Upton is a bit too aggressive at this time.

November 08, 2012 7:20 AM
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Its perfect timing. It will help in pushing LaRoche also when you consider if the Nats get JUpton, they won't be pursuing LaRoche any more.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Like I have been saying LaRoche is the only legitimate power threat from left side besides Harper. I love Danny as much as the next fan but he is not exactly a middle order bat right now. Getting LaRoche at first or replacing him with a legitimate LH power is a must.

Gonat said...

The DBacks signed Garrett Mock to a Minor League deal.

Faraz Shaikh said...

What I was trying to say is that getting Upton does not mean ALR is expendable. You don't want four righties in your middle order (RZ, JU, MM, and ID). I hope Harper will eventually graduate to bat as #4 or #5 hitter but I don't think he is ready right now either.

Gonat said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
Like I have been saying LaRoche is the only legitimate power threat from left side besides Harper. I love Danny as much as the next fan but he is not exactly a middle order bat right now. Getting LaRoche at first or replacing him with a legitimate LH power is a must.

November 08, 2012 7:35 AM
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You still have to think LaRoche is the priority before getting Upton but you can't expect Rizzo to wait around and let an excellent player pass him by.

Faraz Shaikh said...

JU is not under the radar like Gio was that we can nab him for four prospects that we won't lose much sleep over. He has already had an MVP caliber season under his belt. He is under team control for 3 more seasons for a relatively cheap contract. His potential is pretty good. I don't think he will come cheap in terms of players.

Besides what about his home and road split? He seems to be an average hitter on the road in 1534 PA.

MurrayTheRed said...

Hey has anyone else noticed that Keith Law of ESPN always seems to be anti-Nats? Now he has ALR in his Worst Values list.

Faraz Shaikh said...

his fantasy team probably suffered when Nats shut down SS. that's the only reason I can think of for his anti-Nats views if he has.

Theophilus T. S. said...

The LH bat thing is what concerns me most. A close second is I wouldn't want to trade Espinosa unless I was absolutely confident Rendon was ready to be a day-to-day major-leaguer -- and I'm not. Lombardozzi is not even a short-term replacement, sorry. He may have a sure glove, lacks Espinosa's range, arm and ability to turn two. Not to mention he doesn't have any power -- and 26 points of BA average (or whatever the difference is) doesn't even up the comparison.

I don't think the Upton trade gets made -- which is just fine with me. I don't care if Rizzo loves him like a son -- lots of sons are juvenile delinquents. No one needs a pouter in the dugout.

The reason I think it doesn't get done is that the only things the Nats have that AZ wants are Rendon, Desmond and Espinosa. Rendon and Desmond are too much, Espinosa is not enough -- unless bona fide major league position player prospects are included. So far as I know, the Nats don't have any major league-ready position players (except Rendon) to spare.

So, I think that's where it comes down: are the Nats willing to trade Rendon for a whiner?

Gonat said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
Besides what about his home and road split? He seems to be an average hitter on the road in 1534 PA.

November 08, 2012 7:45 AM
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Bigger than that is why would Arizona trade this player as you described? If it is to re-build, ok, that's understandable but something went wrong between Upton and the team and fanbase early in the season last year.

I don't think Arizona is going to get a team's Top 3 prospects and a MLB calibre young middle-infielder and a top bullpen arm because very few teams can afford to part with that.

I think any deal that includes Rendon would be a tough pill to swallow. The Nats have done a great job of building this current team from within and to trade key parts of the future is a big step backwards in my opinion.

Theophilus T. S. said...
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Theophilus T. S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theophilus T. S. said...

Before Peric chimes in about how Brown, Perez, Koramatsu (really?), et al., are major league-ready, AZ doesn't need outfielders -- they are shedding them.

Gonat said...

Theo, I was writing as you were. My first choice is to retain LaRoche and his lefty bat and 1st base glove. If you can't get LaRoche, then it would make sense to put Morse at 1st and look for a LF upgrade.

The good news is that ALR's agent should be more motivated today. Like you said, its no secret how Rizzo feels about Justin Upton.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Note, also, AZ has exercised the option on their closer, Putz (love the name), and signed Heath Bell as their set-up guy. So that tells you where their focus would squarely be if they were dealing w/ the Nats.

Don said...

Johnson, Miley, Dickey and Posey.

Gonat said...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/red-sox-rangers-pursuing-adam-laroche.html
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SteveM, good job. You identified weeks ago which teams would be most in need of LaRoche besides the Nats. MLBTR identifies the Rangers and Red Sox just like you thought the Rangers would be at the top of the list.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Gonat --

Rizzo has never opened a press conference w/ "I love Justin Upton." Or said it openly anywhere else. This is all back-channel stuff, and maybe consists of nothing more than blather than from the time Upton signed w/ AZ.

Justin has always had a better reputation than his brother. Some sage was quoted last year, or the year before, as "If you want to know the difference, look at their contracts." But the rumors that AZ wanted to move him started in 2011 and have only amplified.

Whatever Rizzo might have thought about him several years ago may well have changed. There are many more candid assessments circulating among major league FOs and scouts than ever show up, even in the gossip columns.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Don may have the awards right. Miley had a really good record; BBWAA members -- outside Washington -- may have a lingering prejudice against Harper; some ROYs, particularly pitchers (Scott Williamson) seem really out of LF -- metaphorically, anyway.

Harper is the transformative rookie, the most valuable, but may not be the Rookie of the Year.

Hope he gets it though.

Gonat said...

Theo, good point. The Hot Stove is on high heat now!

NatsLady said...

Ian Desmond's offense (power and speed). Article concludes Desi could almost match those stats next season, as he will be the "magical" age of 27.

Ian Desmond's breakout year

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/ian-desmonds-breakout-year/

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, I just analyzed all the teams with need for a player like LaRoche. The Rangers need to replace Hamilton's left-handed bat somewhere in their lineup.

The Rangers first need is for a CF.

Theophilus T. S. said...

I read the fangraphs article and came away thinking this obsession w/ numbers has reached the ridiculous point. Who gives a hairy d___ how far some guys average fly ball goes when you can see the results in the box score?

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Whether he wins the formal award, or not, Harp is the ROY, hands down. Ditto Davey as MOY. I would not quarrel if Gio does not get the Cy Young award. All 3 finalists are worthy. My guess is Dickey gets it. He plays for a NY team.

NatsLady said...

Theo, see now, I didn't. I did a similar analysis on the Nats top HR hitters which I posted the other day. LaRoche's home run average distance was 397 feet. That means in some parks his homers would have been long fly balls, whereas with Desi's 408 (or 413 for Harper) it's a homer in almost every park.

NatsLady said...

There was an interesting discussion of Nat Silver and why his election projections were so successful. He looked at the previous performance of polls and weighted them accordingly (a little more complicated, but that's basically what he did). He didn't make any polls himself, just used other people's data.

Turning it to baseball, Silver devised a system called PECOTA (I don't know what that stands for) to predict performance of players. He used information that was available but had not been previously incorporated, such as the age, weight and height of the player, and he devised a similarity component, with the idea that similar players project to perform similarly. It seems obvious now, but it had not been done previously with statistical rigor.

Scouts do it all the time, of course. With long experience they can see with their own eyes that a lot of LaRoche's homeruns barely made it while Harper's were "no doubters." But an individual scout can't see every player's every play, so here is where the stats people come in.

Faraz Shaikh said...

nice post, NL.

NatsLady said...

Thanks, FS. My point is that of course you can see in the box score what the results are. The difficulty comes in (1) identifying the underlying factors that led to successful results, and (2) weighting those factors to predict future results.

The Nats won 100 games, and came within one out of 101. Does that mean they should return on April 1 with exactly the same 25- and 40-man rosters as they had in Game 5? In theory, it could be done, since not a single Nats player intends to retire. But no one thinks that--and not just because it might not be cost-effective.

And thus begins the numbers game...

baseballswami said...

When is Silver Slugger? Desi has got to be a lock at SS .

Faraz Shaikh said...

again good points made NL. agree with both.

Swami, it is today at noon I believe.

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