Miguel Cabrera named Player of the Year by his peers

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We have to wait until next week for the awards voted on by the writers, but the Players Choice Awards were announced earlier tonight on MLB Network. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera was voted as the Player of the Year by his peers, beating out finalists Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. So, um, cue the outrage. Or at least get some practice in for next week.

Also of note, Chipper Jones won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award for excellence on and off the field. He beat out Paul Konerko and Michael Young for the honor.

Here’s the full list of award winners, which were voted on in September:

AL Outstanding Player: Miguel Cabrera
AL Outstanding Pitcher: David Price
AL Outstanding Rookie: Mike Trout
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Adam Dunn

NL Outstanding Player: Andrew McCutchen
NL Outstanding Pitcher: R.A. Dickey
NL Outstanding Rookie: Todd Frazier
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey

Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Chipper Jones

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.