Just ahead of Game 2 of the World Series, Major League Baseball has announced that Yankees closer Andrew Miller and Pirates closer Mark Melancon are the recipients of this year’s Reliever of the Year awards.
It’s called the Mariano Rivera Award in the American League and the Trevor Hoffman Award in the National League.
Miller, a 30-year-old left-hander, posted a 2.04 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings this season for New York while tallying 36 saves. He signed a four-year, $36 million free agent contract with the Yankees last winter and is living up to that lofty price tag thus far.
Melancon had a 2.23 ERA and a league-leading 51 saves in 76 2/3 innings with the Pirates. The 30-year-old right-hander is eligible for arbitration for the final time this winter.
The two pitchers were present Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium to receive their awards.
When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.
This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.
Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.