Orioles’ Buck Showalter named AL Manager of the Year

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Having led the Orioles to their first AL East time since 1997, Buck Showalter was selected as the American League Manager of the Year in balloting released Tuesday, beating out the Angels’ Mike Scioscia and the Royals’ Ned Yost for the award.

Showalter got 25 of the 30 first-place votes and was named on 29 ballots. Scioscia got four first-place votes and was named on 23 ballots. Yost was second on 11 ballots and third on eight. The one other first-place vote went to the Mariners’ Lloyd McClendon, who finished fourth.

It’s Showalter’s third time receiving the honor, each spaced 10 years apart. He won in 1994 in his third year with the Yankees and in 2004 in his second year with the Rangers. He also finished second in 1993 and 2012.

Voting for the award took part before the postseason. Otherwise, the nod might have gone to Yost, who skippered his team to the World Series, beating the Orioles along the way, after finishing second in the AL Central and claiming a wild card spot.

Like Showalter, Scioscia had won the award twice before, though from 2010-13, he was named on a ballot only once, finishing sixth in 2011. His Angels finished with baseball’s best record this year, improving from 78-84 in 2013 to 98-64. That’s a bigger leap than either the Orioles (11 games) or Royals (three games) made, and that leap forward in record is usually what rules in the day in Manager of the Year award voting. However, in this case, Showalter most certainly got some extra credit for doing so well with a team that lost Matt Wieters and Manny Machado to season-ending injuries.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.