The Orioles have two finalists for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards, with manager Brandon Hyde a candidate for American League Manager of the Year and catcher Adley Rutschman a candidate for American League Rookie of the Year.
Two names that have been anticipated for months. No surprise omissions or entries.
Hyde joins the Guardians’ Terry Francona and the Mariners’ Scott Servais as finalists. Rutschman, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez and Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan are vying for the rookie award.
The Sporting News already selected Hyde. Rodriguez, the only player in major league history with 25-plus home runs and 25-plus stolen bases in his debut season, won the Players Choice Award.
Hyde can become the first Orioles manager honored since Buck Showalter in 2014. Rutschman can become the first Rookie of the Year since reliever Gregg Olson in 1989.
The Orioles improved by 31 games this season, a historic turnaround, posted their first winning record since 2016 and stayed in the wild card chase until the final week, which might make Hyde the favorite among BBWAA voters. They were supposed to lose 100 games again. They became the third team in major league history to win at least 83 following a 110-loss season, and the first since the 1899 St. Louis Perfectos.
Francona led the youngest roster in baseball, with a modest payroll, to first place in the AL Central. He won the award in 2013 and 2016.
Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash has finished first the past two years.
The Mariners made the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They led the majors with 34 one-run wins.
Rutschman debuted on May 21 as baseball’s No. 1 prospect and batted .254/.362/.445 with 35 doubles, 13 home runs and 42 RBIs in 113 games. He led the club with 65 walks in 470 plate appearances and also had the highest WAR at 5.2 per Baseball-Reference.com and 5.3 per FanGraphs.com.
The Orioles were eight games below .500 when they promoted Rutschman.
“Right around the time Adley got here, we started playing better baseball,” Hyde said. “We started taking better at-bats, winning more series.”
Rutschman, the first-overall pick in the 2019 draft, was voted Most Valuable Oriole by members of the media. A top-two finish in BBWAA voting would give him a full year of service time per the new collective bargaining agreement and move him a year closer to free agency.
Kwan and Rutschman were teammates at Oregon State.
The Rookie of the Year will be announced next Monday, the Manager of the Year on Nov. 15, the Cy Young Award winner on Nov. 16 and the Most Valuable Player on Nov. 17.
Ballots were submitted before the playoffs.
The Orioles didn’t have a finalist for Cy Young or MVP. Maybe in 2023.
Notes: Baseball’s inaugural draft lottery will be held Tuesday night at the Winter Meetings to determine the order of the first six selections.
The Orioles hold the second-worst odds for the No. 1 pick among 18 non-playoff teams at 0.4 percent.
The results will be announced beginning at 8:30 p.m. on MLB Network.
Pitcher Grayson Rodriguez and infielder Gunnar Henderson were named International League All-Stars. Henderson also was chosen as the league’s No. 1 major league prospect.
Rodriguez and Henderson are the first Triple-A Norfolk players to make the league’s postseason All-Star team since Ryan Mountcastle in 2019. Henderson is the first to be selected as the top prospect since right-hander Jason Isringhausen in 1995.
Votes are cast by league managers.