The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce the Cy Young Award winners in both leagues tonight on MLB Network.
My guess is Dallas Keuchel beats out Sonny Gray and David Price in the American League.
Four Orioles have won the Cy Young Award, including three-time winner Jim Palmer (1973, 1975, 1976). Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain were co-winners in 1969, Mike Flanagan won it in 1979 and Steve Stone won it in 1980.
Stone went 25-7 with a 3.23 ERA and nine complete games in 37 starts. He went 4-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 appearances (12 starts) the following year and was out of baseball.
Mike Mussina finished second to Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez in 1999 after going 18-7 with a 3.50 ERA and four complete games in 31 starts. He also finished fourth twice, fifth twice and sixth twice with the Orioles.
Jim Johnson finished seventh in 2012 after recording 51 saves. Left-hander Erik Bedard finished fifth in 2007 after going 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and one shutout in 28 starts. Randy Myers placed fourth in 1997 after posting a 1.51 ERA with 45 saves for the wire-to-wire Orioles.
Lee Smith finished fifth in 1994. And, yes, I still think he belongs in the Hall of Fame and have voted for him in the past. Jeff Ballard and Gregg Olson tied for sixth with the 1989 “Why Not?” Orioles. Mike Boddicker was fourth in 1984. Scott McGregor was sixth for the 1983 World Series champions.
Palmer finished second to Pete Vuckovich in 1982, Dennis Martinez was fifth in 1981, McGregor was tied for sixth in 1980, Palmer was third in 1978 and Palmer finished second to Sparky Lyle in 1977 despite going 20-11 with a 2.91 ERA, 22 complete games and three shutouts in 39 starts over 319 innings.
Three shutouts? Twenty-two complete games? And that many innings?
Wayne Garland was tied for eighth in 1976, Cuellar was sixth in 1974, Palmer was fifth in 1972 and Dave McNally was fourth in 1971.
McNally was second in 1970, with Cuellar finishing fourth and Palmer fifth. The Twins’ Jim Perry won it that year. McNally finished fourth in 1969.
* Smooth segue alert: Miguel Gonzalez would settle for keeping his spot in the rotation. He isn’t thinking about awards.
Gonzalez slipped to 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.396 WHIP in 26 starts, his season interrupted by groin and shoulder injuries and his effectiveness never reaching the same level as 2014. We shouldn’t forget that he posted a 2.19 ERA in his final 11 starts last year.
The Orioles appear to have three choices with Gonzalez. They can put him back in the rotation and hope for a bounceback season, attempt to trade him or non-tender him in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Gonzalez’s salary jumped this year from $529,000 to $3.275 million. MLBTradeRumors.com projects that his next raise will take him up to $4.9 million. That’s a steep price for a long reliever if you were thinking about the bullpen as a fourth choice.
The rotation already has one opening with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen expected to leave via free agency. My guess is that Gonzalez will get another chance, with the Orioles focused on adding a starter for one of the top three slots. However, he may generate interest from other clubs this winter and he’s a candidate to be moved in the right deal.
* Catcher Matt Wieters was asked yesterday on “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” on MASN whether he’s talked to any of the Orioles’ free agents and tried to encourage them to re-sign with the club.
“I’ll just check in with them,” he replied. “Everybody’s going to have their own situation and everybody’s going to do what they feel is best. I would love to have them all back. We love our team and we love the guys that were involved. We’d all love to have them back on our team, but we’re going to root for them anytime they’re not playing the Orioles next year if they’re not there.”
Not quite the same as making recruiting visits.
What must the Orioles do in order to make the playoffs next season?
“Continue to grind 162,” Wieters said. “We know we’re going to be prepared going into the season. It’s just a matter of going out there and performing.
“To make the playoffs, you have to have a lot of things go right through the year. Hopefully, we’re able to stay healthy and allow things to fall our way. But all we can do is control the process and control trying to get ready to grind it out through the whole season.”
You can listen to the interview here.
* Red Sox slugger and dugout phone abuser David Ortiz is retiring after the 2016 season. If you want to pay your respects, or at least pay for a ticket, he’ll be at Camden Yards on May 30-31 and June 1-2, Aug. 16-17 and Sept. 19-22.
Left-hander Brian Matusz will miss Ortiz, who is 4-for-29 with 13 strikeouts against the left-hander. Three of the hits are doubles.
Most fans know about Matusz’s success against Ortiz, but I think they tend to overlook that Ubaldo Jimenez has allowed only two hits in 21 at-bats. Ortiz has drawn six walks.
Ortiz is 6-for-33 (.182) with a double, home run and seven strikeouts against Chris Tillman.
Who won’t miss Ortiz? Let’s start with Kevin Gausman. Ortiz is 6-for-13 with three doubles and two home runs against him.