The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.
As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI’s Most Valuable Reliever:
Like the majority, I went with Allen for my first-place vote. It was great seeing a pitcher like Allen race up through the minors and make an immediate impact in his rookie season. With a 11.26 SO/9, 3.33 BB/9, 2.43 ERA, and 2.99 FIP, Allen should figure into the 2014 bullpen in a prominent way — maybe even as the closer.
I also think that Smith impressed in 2013. The strikeout rate is pedestrian (7.71 SO/9), but that is not Smith’s appeal. The right-hander’s 2.29 ERA is not supported by his 3.60 FIP, but Smith has always shown an ability to exceed his peripherals (2.97 career ERA, 3.71 career FIP in 378.2 innings). That 2.29 ERA is probably a little fluky, but not by as much as it looks like on the surface, making Allen and Smith a close #1 and #2 for me.
Shaw, Albers, and Rzepczynski rounded out my ballot.
Here’s what the rest of IBI thinks: Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, October 18, 2013