This has not been the “usual” situation for the Yankees regarding the post season awards as they actually have a player in the running for each of the three major awards – Rookie of the Year, MVP and Cy Young. Allow mw a few words on the particulars…
ROY: Ivan Nova has given the Yankees all they might have wished for optimistically and a whole lot more. Even thought they sent him to the minors for a short time during the season, he has delivered very positive numbers that must be considered. As of Hurricane Irene weekend, he is 13-4 with a 3.97 ERA. One can reasonably expect that he will get maybe 6 more starts in the last 38 games of the season so a 17-6 record is not an outrageous expectation. There would be two challengers for this title, Hellickson and Pineada. Hellickson with Toranto has a significantly better ERA (about 3.10) but only 11 wins. Pineada has a little bit better ERA (@3.77) but only 9 wins. I think it will come down to the age old argument of WINS vs. ERA. I remember this situation with Greg Maddux when he was in his prime. One year he led the league in wins but they gave the CY Young to a pitcher with a better ERA. A couple years later he had the league best ERA and they gave it to a pitcher with more wins. So Suzyn, you can never predict baseball. If I had to guess, it will be Hellickson by a smidge over Nova with Pineada, the heavy favorite in April, trailing in third place.
Cy Young: CC Sabathia is in the running with Verlander and Jered Weaver but I’m afraid this race is not as close as we might have hoped. CC is 17-7 with a 2.99 ERA, While Verlander has 19 wins and a superior 2.28 ERA. Weaver has 15 wins and even a more superior ERA of 2.03. I think CC has a good chance to get to 20 wins but his performance over the last few weeks is what will stick in the voters mind and losing 4 games to your arch rivals, the Red Sox does not look good on a resume. I see him finishing at best 3rd in the race. I also have begun to wonder whether this question of performance both against the Sox but also in the second half of the season might impact in some way his opt out of contract clause or the Yankees response should he opt out.
MVP: You can hear the cheer in the back of your head- “MVP, MVP, MVP… and Curtis Granderson heard some of them in Baltimore on Sunday as he manhandled the Orioles with a pair of homers, gaining the lead in the AL homerun chase, and thrusting himself into serious contention for Most Valuable Player. Although I made the argument earlier this year that Russell Martin was the team MVP, Grandy has picked up and worn that mantle with pride. The competition is tough with at least 2-3 Red Sox being in the race along with several others. Besides Pedroia and Ellsbury you have Paul Konerko with the White Sox, Jose Bautista of Toronto, maybe Michael Young of the Texas Rangers all in the running. Personally I think that Grandy deserves it. This is a comeback year for him, given his numbers, he has carried the team on his back at times given the injuries suffered by ARod and to a lesser extent Jeter, been pretty consistent all year long, and he leads the AL in homers and is near the top in RBI’s. All of the others deserve mention but I think they also deserve to finish second. Unfortunately, I don’t get a vote and I am afraid that the Red Sox performance will make it earier for someone to vote for one of those two players. Perhaps they split the vote and that lets Grandy sneak in!