Kluber Denied in Attempt for Second AL Cy Young Award
Bob Toth | On 17, Nov 2016
Cleveland starter Corey Kluber made a compelling case for a second career Cy Young Award with his work on the mound this season, but he landed a third place finish in Wednesday night’s unveiling of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s ballots for the highly sought after piece of pitching hardware.
Kluber finished with a total of 98 points, trailing Boston’s Rick Porcello (137) and Detroit’s Justin Verlander (132) in a close finish at the top of the ballot. The Indians ace was one of four pitchers to receive first place votes for the top pitching honor in baseball, but the majority of his votes came in the moderate scoring third place tier.
In winning the Cy Young Award, the 27-year-old Porcello actually earned his first ever vote period for the award. His eight first place votes were tied for the third-fewest ever received by a Cy Young winner. The right-hander was 22-4 during the regular season with a 3.15 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. His 223 innings pitched this season were a career high and he allowed three runs or less in 27 of the 33 starts he made over the course of the season.
Verlander led all players on the ballot with 14 first place votes, but failed to take home his second career Cy Young Award after being left off of two ballots entirely by a pair of voters representing the Tampa Bay chapter. He was 16-9 in 2016 with a 3.04 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a 6.6 WAR.
Kluber received three first place votes, six second place, 12 third, eight fourth, and one fifth place vote among the 30 ballots. His first place votes all came from chapters within the AL Central Division, as Scot Gregor (Daily Herald in the Chicago chapter), Jeffrey Flanagan (MLB.com in the Kansas City chapter), and La Velle Neal III (Minneapolis Star Tribune of the Minnesota chapter) each gave him their top vote.
Kluber finished the regular season with an 18-9 record, a 3.14 ERA, and a 1.06 WHIP. His 6.5 WAR was second among AL pitchers, trailing only Verlander.
The Cleveland chapter of the BBWAA showed no favoritism for the local starter. Cleveland.com’s Zack Meisel placed him third after Verlander and Porcello. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian voted Kluber fourth, after Verlander, Chris Sale, and Porcello.
Baltimore closer Zach Britton pulled in two more first place votes than Kluber and finished fourth overall in the voting. His status as a reliever may have hurt his overall score of 72, as he was left off of six ballots entirely, including both submissions from the Cleveland chapter.
A second Indians pitcher also landed a vote on the BBWAA ballots. Reliever Andrew Miller, with his season split between Cleveland and the New York Yankees, received a single third place vote from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
On the National League side, Washington’s Max Scherzer won his second career Cy Young Award to become the sixth player in baseball history to win the award in each league. Former Indians pitcher Gaylord Perry was the first to do so with his awards with Cleveland in 1972 and San Diego in 1978.
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