The debate has raged on for months. And now we finally have a winner.
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was named the American League MVP this evening by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Despite the impassioned and often contentious arguments dating back to the summer, the balloting wasn’t all that close.
Cabrera received 22 out of the 28 first-place votes to finish with 362 points. Angels outfielder Mike Trout got the other six first-place votes and finished in second place with 281 points. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre received one second-place vote — over Trout — and finished third. He was the only player other than Cabrera or Trout to get a second-place vote. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton rounded out the top five on the ballot. Full ballot results can be found at BBWAA.com.
Cabrera won the award on the strength of the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, leading the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and RBI (139). While the Triple Crown functioned as a “trump card” for many voters given that we went 45 years without one, Cabrera also led the league in slugging percentage (.606), OPS (.999), total bases (377) and extra-base hits (84).
Cabrera couldn’t touch Trout’s contributions on the basepaths or on defense, prompting the debate about all-around value and the true meaning of “most valuable,” but the narrative for him to win the award was strengthened by a variety of factors, including his move to third base to accommodate Prince Fielder, his strong performance down the stretch and the Tigers making the playoffs. Still, it’s safe to say that the Triple Crown had just enough cachet left to give Cabrera the edge over Trout.
This is Cabrera’s first career MVP award. He came close two years ago, but finished second to Hamilton. Justin Verlander took home the hardware last year, so the Tigers have MVP award winners in consecutive seasons.
The St. Louis Cardinals just announced that they have acquired minor league outfielder Jose Martinez from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations.
Martinez was the 2015 Pacific Coast League batting champ, hitting .384 in 98 games. This year he’s hitting .298/.356/.433 in 37 games. He doesn’t have a ton of power — he’s more of a doubles guy — and turns 28 this year so he’s not a prospect but he’s not chopped liver.
Meanwhile, Cash Considerations continues to be well-traveled. It must be hard for him to be dealt so many times a season. So much uncertainty and time away from his family. Feel for the guy.
We have a lot of day games today.
Steven Matz and Tanner Roark are both coming off of good starts against lesser teams and now face tougher tests. Tyler Duffey is coming off of a terrible start and faces the defending world champs. The Tigers are on a roll but Anibal Sanchez has still struggled a lot. He’ll try to get back on track against the weak-hitting Phillies lineup.
Jake Arrieta goes against a struggling Carlos Martinez in St. Louis. Arrieta has, obviously, been on a roll, with the only person coming particularly close to him being Clayton Kershaw. After Kershaw’s two-hit shutout the other day we’ll see if Arrieta can do the anything you can do I can do better trick. Though doing it against St. Louis is a taller order than Kershaw doing it against Cincy.
No matter what happens, God help these guys if they don’t talk to the media afterward.
New York Mets (Steven Matz) @ Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark), 1:05 PM EDT, Nationals Park
Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee) @ Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey), 1:10 PM EDT, Target Field
Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) @ Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez), 1:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park
Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez), 1:45 PM EDT, Busch Stadium
Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago) @ Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis), 2:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington
Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana), 2:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field
San Diego Padres (James Shields) @ San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy), 3:45 PM EDT, AT&T Park
After Matt Harvey‘s bad start last night — his third in a row in a heretofore lost season — many speculated that he could be skipped, sent down or shut down. If that happens it won’t happen yet, however. The Mets just announced that Harvey will make his next start against the White Sox on Monday.
Matt Harvey could not be reached for comment, but I’m sure if he did comment it would be interesting and insightful and would totally change the manner in which he was handled by the New York press corps.
Indians DH/1B Mike Napoli has hit ten triples in his 11-year big league career, so sliding into third base after a long run is not something with which he has tons of experience. As such, the slide — and I use that term in the loosest sense possible — he executed — and I use that term as loosely as possible too — when he hit a triple last night against the White Sox was somewhat unconventional.
The best part, though, was that he didn’t even need to slide as the throw from the outfield was delayed due to the outfielder not getting a great handle on the ball and the relay throw which never came was dropped by the infielder. He could’ve gone in standing up.
Thank God he didn’t, though, because this was too good: