I thought I would take a break from writing about the St. Louis Cardinals’ woes and their attempt to return to the postseason. Instead, let’s take a look and see who is deserving on the Cardinals’ team of some of the awards given in major league baseball. This is specifically my list of the players on the Cardinals current team, who I think merit mention in the annual list of awards. I didn’t pick every award; just some of the ones that I think are most relevant. I welcome your comment or feedback either here or emailing me at [email protected].
Most Valuable Player – This was a tough one for me. But, I think this award, if you really look at the purpose of the award, should go to Yadier Molina. I’ll look at Yadi’s stats in a moment but, can you imagine going through the season with him not available for any length of time? With apologies to Tony Cruz and Bryan Anderson, we really have another catcher in our system even close to Molina’s talents. In fact, other than maybe Brian McCann and Buster Posey this year, tell me another catcher close to Molina’s overall skillset. I think Molina has proven to be the best and most durable catcher in the major leagues since Johnny Bench.
His stats so far this year are exemplary and mostly career highs. Here they are: batting average .322, on base % .374, slugging % .504, OPS .878, 19 homeruns, 66 rbis. He leads all catchers with 11 stolen bases and has played in the second most games among catchers at 122. He’s second in fielding % among catchers who have played in at least 100 games at .997. Besides being one of the clubhouse leaders and a superb handler of pitchers, I think Molina wins this one hands down and will be interesting to see how many votes he receives for the MLB award.
Comeback Player of the Year – Even if Chris Carpenter only starts the 3-4 games that’s projected, he’s deserving of this award on the Cardinals’ team. After being ruled out for the year earlier, he’s now being figured into the rotation next week. He should be commended on his efforts in rehab to get to this point and all for helping his team as we approach the final weeks of the season. And as one Cardinal player pointed out, “…even if he gives up 10 runs”, the fact that he’s on the mound will spark his teammates.
Cy Young – Kyle Lohse has been the only Cardinal pitcher who has not suffered a “slump” this year. He has been and remains the most consistent starter and is our “ace” this year. With a record of 14-3 and an era of 2.81; even these numbers are deceiving. He has not won since June due in large part to poor run support and defensive lapses. Imagine his record had this been a more consistent Cardinal team or if Mike Matheny weren’t so inclined to pull his starters after 7 innings almost automatically. He may not win the Cy Young in the National League but, he is definitely this year’s “Cy Young” pitcher on the Cards this year.
Rookie of the Year – Matt Carpenter (no relation to Chris Carpenter) has emerged as an everyday player at a number of positions. It says a lot about a player’s skill set when the manager tries to get a player into a game at a number of different positions for his offense. Carpenter has played at 3rd, 2nd and 1st base as well as the outfield. He’s hitting .303, OBP of .368, slugging % of .496 and an OPS of .864. He is this year’s super utility player on the Redbirds.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!