The Yankees have legitimate candidates for the top individual honors in the American League. Robinson Cano is among the MVP front runners and Cy Young is at the forefront of a heated debate about the Cy Young. Not surprisingly, Joe Girardi thinks his guys should win.
Girardi on Cano: “There might be guys who have better offensive numbers than him, but I don’t think they bring that same defense that he does. He’s excellent on both sides of the ball.”
Girardi on Sabathia: “I’m not taking anything away from the American League West, but those ballparks are going to play bigger… (For) what CC has done in this division, I think he’s the Cy Young.”
Could the Yankees actually win both?
Top Yankees candidate: Robinson Cano (.314/.374/.524, 28 HR, 106 RBI)
Other favorites: Josh Hamilton (.361/.414/.635, 31 HR, 97 RBI), Miguel Cabrera (.328/.420/.622, 38 HR, 126 RBI)
Four more: Adrian Beltre (.323/.367/.556, 28 HR, 102 RBI), Paul Konerko (.310/.390/.581, 38 HR, 107 RBI), Alex Rodriguez (.272/.342/.514, 30 HR, 123 RBI), Carl Crawford (.309/.359/.492, 17 HR, 88 RBI)
Rodriguez has no reasonable shot at the MVP, but he might have put himself in the top 10 with that huge RBI total. He could have run away with the league lead if he hadn’t been hurt. One thing that surprises me is how similar Cano’s numbers are to Beltre’s. If you could only pick one Ray for the Top 10, would you go Crawford or Longoria? Would you consider Soriano ahead of them? Prediction: Hamilton wins it. Cano finishes second.
Top Yankees candidate: CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18, 237.2 IP, 197 K, 74 BB)
Other favorites: Felix Hernandez (13-12, 2.27, 249.2 IP, 232 K, 70 BB), David Price (19-6, 2.73, 207.2 IP, 187 K, 79 BB), Jon Lester (19-8, 2.96, 204 IP, 220 K, 78 BB)
Four more: Jeff Weaver (13-12, 3.02, 217.1 IP, 229 K, 53 BB), Clay Buchholz (17-7, 2.33, 173.2 IP, 120 K, 67 BB), Cliff Lee (12-9, 3.29, 205.1 IP, 177 K, 18 BB), Trevor Cahill (17-8, 3.08, 189.2 IP, 112 K, 61 BB)
Like Rodriguez in the MVP voting, Cahill has no chance to win the Cy Young, but he has to be the least likely Top 10 candidate. That’s a terrific second year in the big leagues. This vote could come down to the way voters think. I tend to believe there are a lot of traditionalist out there who want to give the Cy Young to a guy who really carried a team and got them somewhere. That’s why… Prediction: Sabathia wins it, and I think Hernandez might finish outside of the Top 3 because some voters will have him much lower than expected.
Just for fun…
Rookie of the Year
Top Yankees Candidate: Is Austin Jackson still with the Yankees? No?
Favorites: Neftali Feliz (4-3, 2.81, 38 saves, 70 K, 17 BB), Austin Jackson (.298/.349/.407, 26 SB, 181 H, 102 R), Wade Davis (12-10, 4.14, 161 IP, 107 K, 60 BB)
Four more: Brennan Boesch (.260/.325/.424, 14 HR, 66 RBI), Brian Matusz (9-12, 4.40, 169.2 IP, 134 K, 61 BB), Danny Valencia (.323/.362/463, 7 HR, 40 RBI), John Jaso (.266/.377/.384, 59 BB, 39 K, 40 RBI)
The Yankees don’t have anyone remotely in the converstation for Rookie of the Year. MLB.com has a top rookie tracker that lists more than 40 American League players, and there’s not a single Yankee on the list. Instead, the award seems be between Feliz and former Yankees minor leaguer Jackson. Boesch was an early favorite, but his second-half numbers are terrible. Davis, on the other hand, came into his own in the second half. Prediction: I’d love to say Jackson because I like the guy, but I think Feliz will win by a lot.
Manager of the Year
Top Yankee candidate: Joe Girardi (Got his team into the wild card lead and in the hunt for the best record in baseball)
Favorites: Ron Washington (ran away with the AL West), Ron Gardenhire (lost his closer and his MVP and still had one of the best teams in the league)
Four more: Terry Francona (so many injuries he used 30 different position players this season), Joe Maddon (right now he has the best record in the AL), Cito Gaston (Might have won any other divison), Buck Showalter (turned the Orioles around from last-place team to dangerous late-place team)
Washington was the early favorite, but Gardenhire might have taken that spot in the last month or so. Without Joe Nathan or Justin Morneau, the Twins have been outstanding. They’re good every year, so it’s hardly a surprise, but this might be Gardenhire’s best season. Prediction: Gardenhire in an insanely close vote. I’ll guess Girardi finishes fifth.