There are some great pitchers from before 1959 who will never be able to be judged in history by the number of Cy Young Awards they have won. That is the year the now-prestigious award came into being.
From that season, on, pitching icons have been defined by, and doors to baseball’s Hall of Fame have been opened, by winning that piece of hardware. Those who have won the trophy multiple times have earned a special place in pitching lore. If a hurler can distinguish himself among his peers over multiple seasons, he must truly be great.
Roger Clemens won baseball’s top pitching prize a record seven times. He would be enshrined in Cooperstown if not for getting entangled in the steroid mess that has stained the careers of may players from the 1990s and early 2000s. Randy Johnson won the Cy five times, while Greg Maddux and Steve Carlton earned it four times each. All three players are in the Hall of Fame. Pedro Martinez, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer and Sandy Koufax won the trophy three times – ditto on the Hall.
For the second time in four seasons, Cleveland’s Corey Kluber has been selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as the American League’s Cy Young Award winner.
The second time might not have been quite as sweet for Kluber, but it came with far less drama than the first time that he won the award in a tight contest with Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2014, decided by ten points. Unfortunately for Kluber and his Tribe teammates, much like the season when the Cleveland ace won his first award, the Indians spent the bulk of October as spectators of baseball instead of playing for a championship.
Terry Francona‘s pursuit of a third Manager of the Year Award as Cleveland Indians skipper was foiled on Tuesday as Minnesota’s Paul Molitor was named the American League’s winner of the award in the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting.
Molitor received 18 of 30 first place votes, while Francona was second with 11.
The Cleveland Indians may very well be building a contingency plan in the event that the club is unable to re-sign Carlos Santana.
While the Indians have already picked up the option on outfielder Michael Brantley, who could potentially factor in the first base mix for 2018, the club is also working to make sure that it has as many internal candidates as possible to pick up time at “the other hot corner”.
According to a Sunday news release by Nelson Medina Arnías on LVBP.com, the online home of the Venezuelan Winter League (Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional), Indians utility man Yandy Diaz will work at least one game a week at first base while playing for Leones del Caracas this fall and winter.
Once the Cleveland Indians best everyday player and MVP candidate, Michael Brantley has become one of the team’s biggest question marks over the last couple of offseasons.
One question surrounding Brantley was answered this offseason already. That happened last week when the Tribe picked up his $11.5 million team option for 2018. In doing that, it put to bed the question of whether or not the two-time All-Star and a former top-three MVP vote-getter would be back for a tenth season in Cleveland.
There are so many more questions, however, clouding the winter and early spring when it comes to the superstar left fielder. As was the case the last two offseasons, they involve an injured body part and recent surgery. Unlike past offseasons, the concern is not with an ailing shoulder. Instead it is with a problematic ankle.
While the Indians did not get to play as deep into October as fans may have hoped, the efforts of the Cleveland players have been recognized numerous times during the annual November award season in Major League Baseball.
Friday marked just such a night as free agent Carlos Santana was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year among all Major League first basemen.
Minor league infield prospect Willi Castro put together a career year on the farm for the Cleveland Indians and headed to the Dominican Republic to participate in offseason activity in the Dominican Winter League. But after a hot start there, the 20-year-old shortstop has seen his last game action for 2017 as he has been shut down with a left knee injury sustained in the competitive offseason league.
Castro injured the knee on a slide in the third inning of a game against Los Gigantes de Cibao on October 24. He returned to Cleveland to be examined by a team doctor the following Monday, with an announcement by the club a week later confirming that he had sprained the MCL in his knee.
Despite having four finalists in the hunt, the Cleveland Indians were denied a winner in the annual Rawlings Gold Glove Awards on Tuesday night.
Four of the American League’s 27 nominees for the 2017 awards came from the Indians roster, but as has been the case for much of the last decade, the Tribe did not have a player selected as the best at his position.
The offseason begins with a lot of minor moves for teams that oftentimes get lost in the shuffle of an otherwise busy fall and winter break from playing.
The Cleveland Indians completed some of their mandatory moves on Monday, adding several players to the 40-man roster, opening another spot by declining an option, and extending one very important qualifying offer.
Three former Cleveland Indians pitchers have been selected as part of the ten-man Modern Baseball Era ballot, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Monday.
Tommy John, Jack Morris, and Luis Tiant all spent time in an Indians uniform during their lengthy professional careers and are among nine former players and one longtime executive included in the Modern Baseball Era ballot this season. While each of the players failed to make it into the Hall of Fame through selection by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America following their playing careers, they will all get a second chance at a place among the baseball immortals when the Modern Baseball Era Committee’s 16-member panel casts its votes on December 10 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.
Also up for review are players Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, and Alan Trammell, as well as the late Marvin Miller, head of the Major League Baseball Players Association for 17 years from 1966 to 1982.
While the 2017 Major League Baseball season just came to a close with the Houston Astros’ Game 7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series on Wednesday night, teams and players are already hard at work preparing for the 2018 season.
For fans who have not gotten their fill of baseball for the season, there is plenty of action of all varieties still going on around the globe.
With some big questions looming over the Indians roster for the 2018 season, two of those were answered on Friday as Cleveland announced that team options on outfielder Michael Brantley and starting pitcher Josh Tomlin were picked up, giving the two long-time Tribe veterans at least one more season in town.
The decision on Tomlin’s option was much easier to make than Brantley’s, but both players were retained as Tomlin provided another consistent season for the Indians while Brantley lost a half season while dealing with significant injuries for a second straight year.