Welcome to the third annual edition of the IBI Awards!
At the end of every year, we here at IBI vote on various categories relating to Cleveland baseball as we continue looking back on 2014 ahead of our 2015 offseason coverage.
Today is the second installment of the IBI Awards, the Most Valuable Pitcher. Previous awards for this season include:
Just like in the Most Valuable Hitter, a singular name stood out. Options two through five differed among the voters, but it was impossible to not vote for one Corey Kluber.
Again just like Brantley every voter put Kluber at the top of their ballot (like they should have), which is not surprising since both Brantley and Kluber are getting MVP and Cy Young buzz respectively.
Past Kluber, my personal ballot featured Allen in second place, Carrasco in third, Atchison in fourth, and Shaw in fifth. It is rare for me to have three relievers ranked this high when ranked with starting pitchers (since starters are given more innings to accumulate value), but I think it is justified given Cleveland’s uncommon 2014.
There is no denying every team will have seven or so relievers in their bullpen, each slated to throw around 70.0 innings. Since those innings have to be thrown, every team needs quality relief pitching to fill them. Relievers have a ton of volatility from year to year (and in general should not be trusted with deals running more than two years), but something like this is not projecting the future; it is only looking at what happened in 2014.
So, for me, Allen (who posted 1.5 WAR in 69.2 innings), Atchison (1.1 WAR in 72.0 innings), and Shaw (0.9 WAR in 76.1 innings) outrank starting pitchers who fell short of a full 200-inning load like Bauer (1.2 WAR in 153.0 innings), House (1.4 WAR in 102.0 innings), and Salazar (1.2 WAR in 110.0 innings).
The starting pitchers may have the relievers when it comes to raw WAR totals, but the byproduct of them not coming close to throwing a full season’s worth of innings is that other starters were pressed into action. To me, there is value in carrying your weight and it is reflected in my ballot.
Or at least those are my thoughts on the subject. Here is what the rest of IBI had to say: Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, October 7, 2014