The awards parade continues at 1:30 Eastern today, as the NL Cy Young Award is going to be announced. Guys like Javier Vazquez and Josh Johnson could get some love, but most folks (including this folk) believes it will come down to one of these three guys:
Tim Lincecum: the incumbent had a lower ERA than he did in 2008. He walked fewer guys than he did in 2008. He struck only four fewer across a nearly identical number of innings. The only place where he took a hit was in his win total, and that’s largely on the Giants’ offense. If Greinke’s award showed anything it showed that the writers are smarter about wins these days, so that shouldn’t be fatal to his chances, but they’re still all about storylines. Greinke was the new young stud to most BBWAA members. Lincecum was that last year. It would not surprise me at all if the writers did here what they so often do and vote for a fresher face, even if he had a lesser arm.
Chris Carpenter: Not a fresh face, but certainly a comeback story and writers LOVE comeback stories. That aside, he’s not all storyline. In fact, he’d be a great choice as he led the league in ERA, didn’t allow home runs, didn’t walk anyone and was absolutely essential to the Cards race to the division title.
Adam Wainwright: Won more games than either Carpenter or Lincecum, but allowed more baserunners and stuff too (his WHIP: 1.210. Lincecum’s: 1.047; Carpenter’s: 1.007). He’s the freshest face here, though, and even if the wins won’t be the determining factor, at least a couple of writers may go in with that in an otherwise close race.
If you put a gun to my head I give it to Carpenter, though I’d be happy with Lincecum too because (a) it’s close; and (b) man, he’s pretty awesome to watch and dammit this is my blog and I’m allowed to credit him for that. I think the writers will go with one of those two first and Wainwright in third.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.