Craig Kimbrel, Jeremy Hellickson named Rookies of the Year

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The official award season is upon us and the first announcement has been made: your 2011 Rookies of the Year are Craig Kimbrel in the NL and Jeremy Hellickson in the AL. Kimbrel was voted the award unanimously. Hellickson received 17 of the 28 first place votes.

Kimbrel seemed like a lock for some time.  Closing games is a high profile endeavor, and Kimbrel closed them like crazy.  He led the league with 46 saves, breaking Neftali Feliz’s record for rookies in the process.  A dominant force out of the pen in 2011, Kimbrel struck out 127 batters in 77 innings while only issuing 32 unintentional walks, for a K/BB ratio of 3.97. Therein lies the key to his success, as over the course of his minor league career he only stuck out 2.55 batters for every one he walked.

As for Hellickson, his 13 wins — five down the stretch as Tampa Bay made their improbable late drive for the AL Wild Card — and 2.95 ERA put him fairly easily past Mark Trumbo and Eric Hosmer.  He led all rookie pitchers in ERA, innings (189), starts (29) and opponents’ batting average (.210).

Finishing behind Kimbrel was his Braves teammate Freddie Freeman, then Vance Worley and Wilson Ramos.  Complete voting results can be found over at BBBWA.com.

White Sox trade Tyler Saladino to the Brewers, acquire Trayce Thompson from the Athletics

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The White Sox made a pair of moves on Thursday evening, trading infielder Tyler Saladino to the Brewers for cash considerations. The club also acquired outfielder Trayce Thompson from the Athletics for cash considerations.

Saladino, 28, took only nine trips to the plate for the White Sox, registering a single and a double. He’s played all over the field, so he offers versatility to the Brewers. Most of his playing time has come in the infield, chiefly at third base, second base, and shortstop.

The Brewers designated pitcher Alec Asher for assignment to create roster space for Saladino.

Thompson, 27, was designated for assignment by the A’s on Tuesday. He came to the plate only seven times, achieving a lone single with four strikeouts.