The Cleveland Indians have several players contending for some major offseason awards, but it is unlikely to see a winner in 2018.
The World Series is nearly upon us and as a Cleveland Indians fan, I can’t say I am all that excited.
I’ll try to watch as much as I can. Or maybe I’ll watch the Cavs get blown out instead.
Anyway, another notable upcoming event involves the offseason awards to be handed out. Specifically, the Cy Young and MVP awards.
The Indians shared an optimistic take on the awards earlier today:
Candidates is the key word here. Let’s start with the pitchers.
Trevor Bauer was on track to be the Cy Young favorite before he went down with an injury in August. This limited him to 27 starts on the year.
The missed time saw Bauer finish tied for sixth in the AL with 221 strikeouts, although he did finish second in ERA at 2.21. However, the missed time potentially helped that ERA mark. His injury led to him finishing 19th in innings pitched at 175.1.
Bauer had a great season and was a Cy Young contender through July. However, he just didn’t have the full season to really qualify as a true contender.
Then there is Corey Kluber, who actually led the league in innings pitched with 215. However, he finished fifth in strikeouts with 222. That is one spot behind Carlos Carrasco in that category. Kluber’s 2.89 ERA saw him finish fifth in the AL.
Kluber took home the award last year and the fact he is a two-time winner means he is always in the conversation. However, he is only a contender this season. The favorites include Blake Snell, Justin Verlander and potentially Gerrit Cole. Kluber should finish top five in the voting, but he isn’t winning a third Cy Young in 2018.
The next award in focus is the AL MVP Award.
Both Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor had solid regular seasons. However, this is a two-man race between Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Those two lead the way in WAR, with Betts sitting at the top after hitting .346 during the regular season. That led the league, as did his .640 slugging percentage. He finished second in on-base percentage behind Trout as the two once again dominated the AL.
In terms of WAR, Lindor and Ramirez each still finished with the great mark of 7.9. Ramirez hit 39 home runs and Lindor hit 38, but they are still chasing both Betts and Trout in the conversation.
I appreciate the optimism and the tweet from the team account, but it is not a year for offseason hardware in Cleveland.