“There are people in and around the baseball world who give the knuckleball a bit of a knock,” MLB network analyst Dan Plesac said at the start of Wednesday night’s Cy Young Awards Show.
Apparently those people are not well represented in the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey was named the Cy Young Award winner in the National League, easily beating out the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals in the BBWAA balloting.
Dickey got 27 of the 32 first-place votes, becoming the first knuckleballer in major league history to capture Cy Young Award honors. Kershaw got two first-place votes and Gonzalez got one. Reds ace Johnny Cueto was also given a first-place vote, as was Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.
Dickey led the National League in innings pitched (233 2/3) and strikeouts (230) while finishing the season with a 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The 38-year-old threw consecutive one-hitters in June.
“I’m beside myself,” he told MLB Network via satellite after his name was announced. “Clayton and Gio are both supernatural. They give everybody fits. This is an honor to be shared. My hopes always outweighed my doubts.”
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.