The Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award is given out each year to the player who “inspires others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities.” The six finalists were announced this morning:
- Clayton Kershaw;
- Anthony Rizzo;
- Adam LaRoche;
- Josh Hamilton;
- Max Scherzer; and
- Carlos Beltran
Each of these guys engage in extensive charitable work off-the-field. Kershaw and his wife build schools in Zambia. Rizzo does work for cancer research. LaRoche works with the Wounded Warrior Project. Hamilton runs The FourTwelve Foundation works with ministries to help the underprivileged, oppressed and vulnerable. Scherzer works with multiple Detroit charities. Beltran builds schools and runs a baseball academy in Puerto Rico.
The Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award has been given out since 1997. MLB players will choose the award winner from among these six finalists. Here is a list of past winners.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.