Nationals Baseball: Tuesday Quickie - Awards

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tuesday Quickie - Awards

Trea Turner did not win ROY.  That is not surprising as Corey Seager was an MVP candidate and also a ROY candidate. It's tough luck for Trea, assuming he loves awards, but far from unfair.  We talked about this near certainty a few weeks ago while the season was in play.  Where do the other votes stand now?

Remember - votes are before the season is over.

NL MOY - I disqualified Roberts because the Dodgers would actually win fewer games this year. Apparently though he is the front runner. Yes, I know they had lots of injuries. But there's something funny to me about the idea of bringing a guy in, having him win fewer games than his predecessor, then proclaiming that he did the best job. Especially when he's competing directly with someone that was brought in and proceeded to win 12 MORE games than his predecessor.

I had Maddon taking it for sure if he got to 104 wins. He didn't. He got to 103.  I then said Dusty had a chance if the Nats were within 5 games of the Cubs. They weren't they were 8 games behind. So I'll say it finishes inexplicably Roberts - Maddon - Dusty.

NL MVP - Bryant or Murphy (as Seager would take the ROY) Final Lines

Bryant :  .292 / .385 / .554 39 HR 102 RBI
Murphy : .347 / .390 / .595 25 HR 104 RBI

It's close but Murphy had the better offensive season. Bryant had more patience and a bit more power (Murphy lead league in doubles and even had a couple more triples than Bryant) but it didn't make up that huge gap in average. Factoring defense and base running is always problematic but the general consensus between stats and scouts is that they go to Bryant. That alone probably puts Bryant over the top. Beyond that the Cubs won 103 games and were the best team in baseball. Everything says Bryant

NL Cy Young - Since we know the Top 3 we know how some things shook out. Bumgarner and Syndergaard both made the playoffs but neither had the lights out finish to the season that would put them over the top (Noah was much closer in that regard but given the love of MadBum I bet Madison beat him in votes... we'll see). This is also true of Jose Fernandez, who wasn't on pace to make the Top 3 prior to his tragic end.

Final lines
Hendricks : 16-8, 2.13 ERA, 170K, 0.979 WHIP
Scherzer : 20-7, 2.96 ERA, 284K, 0.968 WHIP
Lester :  19-5, 2.44 ERA, 197K, 1.016 WHIP

Hendricks has the best ERA and they love ERA... but not as much as wins. Plus Hendricks thing was having the lowest ERA since Gibson and he slowly but surely lost that. I think he finishes third.  Lester had the strongest finish, most wins, best winning percentage and a lower ERA than Scherzer. Scherzer had by far the most strikeouts and a lower WHIP, and is seen as the most dominant non-Kershaw* pitcher out there. I think it'll be close but I think the general feeling favors Max and I think there will be some "Well I didn't vote for a National for the other three awards and I don't have a favorite here so here's your bone" going on.

*Kershaw's final line 12-4, 1.69 ERA, 172K, 0.725 WHIP.  0.725!!!  His outside chance of winning even pitching 70 fewer innings than these guys was ruined by a lack of run support. You heard me. He went 12-4 with a lack in run support. 27 runs scored in his last 11 games by the Dodgers. Overall it just looked bad but the Dodgers scored 29 runs in two games for him. If we take out these (and even take out his two lowest in fairness) he'd drop much closer to the bottom. 


Fries said...

Agree with pretty much everything here. Murphy is more deserving of the MVP, but the difference in homers and team performance gives Bryant the win I'd say. With the finalists that were selected, I think Scherzer is the shoo-in.

MOY, though, I think Roberts really is most deserving. Maddon over-manages (to a fault sometimes) and Dusty is still pretty boneheaded at times. Roberts turned around a dodgers team that was toast after all their injuries. Granted if I analyzed Roberts as much as I do Dusty, I'd probably flip their positions.

G Cracka X said...

Scherzer has more wins than Lester, right?

SM said...

You, Harper, and Fries and G Cracka X have all nailed the issues that make the results so confounding at times.

If there were some numerical value placed on statistics, the awards would make sense.

For MVP, say, is Batting Average valued more highly by voters than, say, HRs or RBIs? Or OBP? Are Runs Scored as important as Slugging? Less so? More so? How much does a team's record count toward the vote? (Don't ask Mike Trout.) There's just no way of knowing how each voter weighs each statistic.

Ditto for the Cy Young: Wins, SOs, ERA, K/9, BB/9, K/BB, etc. etc.

If there were a specific numerical value to each statistic, we could follow award races--as well as Divisional races--during the season. Players could clinch awards like teams clinch playoff spots.

You know, like: If Murphy drives in 3 more runs, Bryant can't catch him. Or Max just struck out his 250th batter, and no one is close enough in cumulative points to overtake him.

Or is this too much like an Electoral College?

Chas R said...

The awards are nice, but they are really something of a beauty contest- very subjective.

SM said...

Yes, awards are nice and they're subjective (up to a point). But they're important, too, to a career.

Performance incentive clauses increasingly feature in player contracts, not to mention the bargaining leverage a player acquires in subsequent contract negotiations.

More importantly, any player who cares about his legacy understands that major awards are meaningful indicators for eventual Hall of Fame consideration.

Jay said...

I think Bryant wins the MVP and Lester or Hendricks win the Cy Young bc Cubs. Wouldn't shock me if Maddon won manager of the bc of the same reason. The Cubs were the cool, trendy pick this year. They won a ton of games. They had a great line up and starting rotation. I think the Cubs win bc of that. To their credit they did carry that over to a WS win. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you put Bryant and Lester in DC and Murphy and Scherzer in Chicago that Murphy and Scherzer would win the awards. Murphy would be the scrappy never say die 2b that helped carry the Cubs to 100+ wins and Scherzer would be the strike out ace the Cubs needed to carry themselves to the promised land. It's all about spin and hype. The Cubs had all of the hype going into the year and carried it through the year and to the WS win.

Anonymous said...

I actually have the opposite reaction to Jay. Rather than the Cubs taking them all, I think they may get none of them (maybe Maddon). I think the fact that they have multiple contenders for CY and MVP means there will be some vote-splitting. Also, while we can quibble with whether they should take this into account, some voters may look at how dominant the Cubs were and say to themselves, was Bryant really the difference-maker on this team? Whereas, if the Nats lacked Murphy, they'd likely be out of the playoffs.

Jay said...

Any thoughts about the Nats trading for Chris Sale or Archer? Sounds like it would take a lot from a prospect perspective, but they are just prospects. How many actually pan out??

NotBobby said...

@Jay - as with most things, it depends. Highly rated prospects which are in the lower minors and great for trades and do not pan out as much bc there is more time for things to go wrong and scouts are basing ratings on fewer flashes of plus stuff. When a prospect gets to AA and AAA then the prospect becomes more of a sure thing. But that "sure thing" still has an awfully high bust rate.

Anonymous said...

Which means Chicago and Tampa would demand at least one regular from the 25-man roster, probably beginning with Trea Turner and including Joe Ross.

Jay said...

Various sites reporting Turner is a no go. Not surprising. I'd probably give up Ross and Fedde and another throw in for Sale. Probably not nearly enough to get him. Would you do something like Ross, Lopez, Fedde, and a throw in? It starts to add up fast, but Sale is quite good and left handed.

Anonymous said...

Jay--"Throw in" is an elastic term. One team's Michael Taylor is another team's Victor Robles.

John C. said...

On MLB Network Radio today two of their heads were arguing between Hendricks and Lester, dismissing Scherzer because ERA. And simultaneously dismissing W/L record, because hey c'mon, they're not falling for that. But you can make the same argument about ERA that you can make about W/L; that it doesn't completely track the quality of the pitcher. If you look at FIP, Scherzer and Hendricks are essentially tied and well ahead of Lester. If you add contact/batted ball analysis, then you really see how much Lester and Hendricks were aided by playing in front of quite possibly the best team defense seen in the majors in many years. The Nats' defense was middle of the pack at best.

This is the reason that an analyst at Fangraphs, breaking down the batted-ball profile numbers of NL starters, cast his (internet, not actual) vote for Max Scherzer for the Cy Young. (

Anonymous said...

Maybe the voters read Fangraphs after all.

Bjd1207 said...

@Jay - I would definitely do a deal like that or something similar. I dunno if the team would want just pure pitching back, but highlight the package with people like Lopez and Ross, and then add in what that teams looking for specifically (Fedde/Voth if more pitching, Difo if MI, Goodwin if OF). Sale is the real deal, despite his K numbers back off a bit this last year. And his contract is just absolutely insanely good, $12M next year (less than Gio) and team options for '18 and '19. That just happens to line up perfectly with Bryce's window, so yea I'd empty the farm to get Sale.

Scherzer, Sale, Strasburg, Roark, Gio/Giolito? Just stop it...

Flapjack said...

Blake Snell looks interesting.