Who will be the American CY Award winner this year? Through 4 months, it is very unclear as to who is the top pitcher in the American League.
Unlike most years, the 2016 campaign has been very interesting, especially in the American League. The A.L. has seen a lot of aces not pitch to their potential. Guys like David Price, last year’s CY Dallas Keuchel, Sunny Gray, and Felix Hernandez have all struggled for extending periods this season. There are only 4 pitchers in the American League that have sub .300 ERA’s. Heading into August, there is no clear-cut favorite for the award. The National League is the complete opposite. In the N.L, there are 15 pitchers with sub 3.00 ERA’s. So let’s take a look at who could be the potential CY in the American League.
First on my list would be Aaron Sanchez of the Toronto Blue Jays. Sanchez is 11-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 20 starts. His WHIP is 1.149 and his K/9 is 7.8. The 24 year-old is getting his first opportunity to pitch as a starter in the big leagues and is quickly becoming the ace of the Toronto staff. The problem with Sanchez is he has an innings limit and most likely will be moved to the pen sometime in the next month. I say let him pitch, monitor how he feels, and throw this innings limit crap out the limit.
Chris Sale is next on my list due to his strong start. He started the season 9-0 and was dominating hitters. Sale has not been the same dominant starter that we saw in the first two months of the season. He had a 3.93 ERA in June and has a 4.85 ERA in July. Despite his recent struggles, he is 14-4 with a 3.17 ERA. He does have a 1.029 WHIP and an 8.6 k/9. Sale will need a good 2 month stretch to secure the CY award.
Danny Salazar would be third on the list. He is quickly becoming one of the top righties in all of baseball and was selected to his first All-Star team this summer. He is 11-3 with a 2.97 ERA in 19 starts and has a 1.205 WHIP and 10.1 K/9. I think Salazar has the best chance to be the CY heading forward because he has been consistent all season long. Also, the Indians are going to be in contention for the A.L. Central which should help his case.
Could Cole Hamels be the guy? He is 12-2 with a 2.84 but I feel like no one talks about him. He is having a very solid season in Texas but he is not dominating. There are three starters that are all having similar seasons. Rick Porcello is having a bounce-back season at 14-2. Chris Tillman is 14-3 for the Orioles. J.A. Happ is 14-3 as well but I don’t think any of these three starters are poised for a CY award. There is still plenty of games left for these pitchers to improve upon their resumes.
The A.L. CY award race is wide open. There is not a favorite as of now to win the CY or a pitcher who has separated himself from the rest of the field. It will be an interesting final two months of the season.
Yesterday was another bad outing for the Red Sox ace David Price. He only lasted 4.2 innings as he gave up 6 runs to the New York Yankees. Some fans may say that this is just another horrible outing from Price and others may say that he was two pitches away from getting out of jams and giving up 1 run. Either way, something is off for Price.
There has been a lot of talk about Price’s velocity so far this season as it is down about 1 mph over 7 starts from last season. Today, I think he topped out at 92 mph. It’s strange seeing that from a guy who normally sits in the mid 90’s. After watching Price’s start today, I do not think the lack of velocity is the main problem. The main problem is the lack of aggressiveness. Multiple times today Price walked a guy after being ahead in the count 0-2 or 1-2. The main problem today is once he got ahead, he nibbled on the corner and missed by a few inches. It is much easier for hitters to hit when the count is 3-2 than 1-2. Didi Gregorius got price in the 4th when he lined a mistake down the right field line to clear the bases and Carlos Beltran drove in two runs after working the count from 1-2 to 3-2.
The problem today was that once Price was ahead in the count, he stopped attacking. The top pitchers in baseball are never on the defense. They are constantly in attack mode and besides the Atlanta start, Price has not been on the attack all year. It is possible that Price knows he does not have his usual fastball and does not want to attack but that cannot be his mindset. Price needs to get back to being the attacker for the entire at-bat. The next time Price takes the mound it will be the middle of May and he will have a 6.75 ERA! That is not going to get it done, especially when he is making 30 million dollars.
- Last night Bartolo Colon became the oldest player to hit his first career home run at the age of 42 passing Randy Johnson in the record books when he did it when he was 40. If you have not seen the video yet, take a look.
That was one of the best home run calls that I have heard in a long time by Gary Cohen. Bartolo is always entertaining when he steps into the batter’s box and I guess it was just a matter of time before this happened.
- The Cubs beat the Nationals yesterday 8-5 to move them to 23-6 on the season. They are the first N.L. team to win 23 of their first 29 games since the 1977 Dodgers. The Cubs are running away with the division and it’s only May.
- Chris Sale moved to 7-0 through 7 starts on the young season after beating the Minnesota Twins. Not sure this guy can be stopped right now
Some thoughts about the weekend:
- The New York Yankees starting rotation needs help. Right now Tanaka has a 2.87 ERA and every other starter has an ERA over 5! That is not going to get the job done and it shows with their 8-15 record. Their offense has been scuffling and with that rotation, they do not have a winning formula.
- Chris Sale is an early favorite for the A.L. CY. Sale improved to 6-0 after his Sunday performance. He did not have his best stuff on Sunday but still only allowed 1 run in 5.1 innings. That’s what the best pitchers in baseball do: win games when they don’t have their best stuff.
- It’s only May 2nd but we need to give credit to the Philadelphia Phillies. who are 15-10. They have won 6 in a row and 9 of 10. In the beginning of the season, many thought the Phillies were destined to lose 100+. It still could happen but the young Phillies are competing and have no pressure other than show up and play.
Matchup of the Week:
Los Angeles Dodgers (13-13) at Pittsburgh Pirates (15-10)
Pitching Matchup of the week:
Tuesday: Steven Wright (Boston) 2-2, 1.37 ERA
Jose Quintana (Chicago) 3-1, 1.47 ERA