The Cubs were well represented Tuesday when the finalists for the annual Baseball Writers Association of America awards were announced on the MLB Network.
Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are the three finalists for the National League Cy Young Award. In what should be one of the closest votes in history, a strong case can be made for each pitcher to take home the hardware.
Kris Bryant is one of three finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year. Matt Duffy of the Giants and the Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang are the other two finalists for the top rookie in the National League.
Joe Maddon is up for National League Manager of the Year along with the skippers of the Cubs two longtime rivals. The Cardinals’ Mike Matheny and Terry Collins of the Mets are the other two finalists for NL Manager of the Year.
National League Rookie of the Year will be announced Nov. 16, the NL Manager of the Year on Nov. 17 and the NL Cy Young Award winner will be announced Nov. 18.
Here are the finalists for each BBWAA Award:
- AL Rookie of the Year: Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Miguel Sano
- AL Cy Young: Sonny Gray, Dallas Keuchel, David Price
- AL Manager of the Year: Jeff Banister, A.J. Hinch, Paul Molitor
- AL MVP: Lorenzo Cain, Josh Donaldson, Mike Trout
- NL Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant, Matt Duffy, Jung Ho Kang
- NL Cy Young: Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw
- NL Manager of the Year: Terry Collins, Joe Maddon, Mike Matheny
- NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Joey Votto
The BBWAA Awards are recognized as the top honor a player or manager can receive.
Jake Arrieta made 33 starts during the regular season and his second half was statistically the best in the history of the game.
Arrieta posted a 22-6 record with a 1.77 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 2.35 FIP. Arrieta had the most wins in baseball and was the Cubs first 20-game winner since Jon Lieber in 2001. Arrieta completed four games, three were complete-game shutouts including his no-hitter against the Dodgers.
In 229 innings, Arrieta allowed 52 runs, 45 earned, on 150 hits with 48 walks and 236 strikeouts.
After the break, Arrieta was a remarkable 12-1 in 15 starts with a 0.75 ERA and 0.73 WHIP … only 12 runs, nine earned, on 55 hits with 23 walks and 113 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings.
Jake Arrieta, counting the post-season, completed 248 2/3 innings over 36 starts and had a 1.92 ERA with a 0.87 WHIP that included 264 strikeouts and 52 walks.
Zack Greinke was 19-3 in 32 starts with a 1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 2.76 FIP. Greinke allowed 43 runs, 41 earned, on 148 hits with 40 walks and 200 strikeouts in 222 2/3 innings. Greinke won the AL Cy Young Award in 2009.
Clayton Kershaw is up for his fourth NL Cy Young Award. Kershaw took home the NL Cy Young and MVP last year and was voted as the National League’s best pitcher in 2011 and 2013. Kershaw posted a 16-7 record in 33 starts this past season with a 2.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 1.99 FIP. Kershaw surrendered 62 runs, 55 earned, on 163 hits with 42 walks and 301 strikeouts in 232 2/3 innings.
Greg Maddux was the last Cubs’ pitcher to win the NL Cy Young Award. Arrieta would join Greg Maddux (1992), Rick Sutcliffe (1984), Bruce Sutter (1979) and Ferguson Jenkins (1971) as the fifth player in the franchise’s history to be named the best pitcher in the National League by the BBWAA.
Kris Bryant has already been named Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year, the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year and his peers voted him as the NL Outstanding Rookie. Bryant will add National League Rookie of the Year to his already impressive pro resume.
Bryant hit .275/.369/.488 in 151 games with 31 doubles, five triples and 26 home runs for a .858 OPS. Bryant set Cubs rookie records for home runs (26) and RBI (99).
Matt Duffy had a sensational and unexpected season for the Giants. Duffy became San Francisco’s everyday third baseman and went on to hit .295/.334/.428 with 28 doubles, six triples and 12 home runs for a .762 OPS.
Jung Ho Kang proved those wrong that said he would not be able to hit enough in the majors. Kang put together an excellent season before Chris Coghlan slid into him at second base on Sept. 17 and broke his leg. Kang batted .287/.355/.461 in 126 games with 24 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs for a .816 OPS.
Kris Bryant will become the sixth player in team history to be named the NL Rookie of the Year joining Billy Williams (1961), Ken Hubbs (1962), Jerome Walton (1989), Kerry Wood (1998) and Geovany Soto (2008).
Joe Maddon continued the change in the clubhouse that began a year ago. The front office gave Maddon several veterans and he helped create the right atmosphere for the rookies in which to thrive. Maddon and his coaching staff took a 73-win team to a 97-win team and a trip to the National League Championship Series. The Cubs 24-win improvement was tops in baseball.
The Cubs finished the regular season with the third best record in baseball. And the 101 wins were the most for a Cubs team in 70 years.
Maddon was the AL Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2011.
Mike Matheny was expected to lead the Cardinals to a World Series title. Matheny dealt with key injuries throughout the season. St. Louis finished the year with a NL Central title and the most regular season wins in baseball. The Cardinals were 100-62, three games better in the end than the Cubs.
Terry Collins dealt with a make shift lineup in the first half. The additions made in July propelled the Mets past the Nationals. The Metropolitans won the NL East with a 90-72 record, beat the Dodgers in the NLDS and had everything go their way in the NLCS in route to a trip to the Fall Classic.
Joe Maddon has a good chance at becoming the fourth manager of the year in franchise history, joining Jim Frey (1984), Don Zimmer (1989) and Lou Piniella (2008).