Brian Snitker, Bob Melvin win 2018 Manager of the Year Awards

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Snitker, 63, is in his third season as the Braves’ manager. In 2018, he led the Braves to a 90-72 first-place finish, sending the team to the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Braves lost in four games to the Dodgers.

Snitker received 17 of 30 first-place votes. Brewers manager Craig Counsell finished in second place followed by the Rockies’ Bud Black, the Cardinals’ Mike Shildt, the Cubs’ Joe Maddon, and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers.

The Braves named Snitker the interim manager on May 17, 2016 after firing Fredi González. The organization went into a rebuilding mode and wasn’t expected to seriously compete in 2018, but a breakout season from NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mike Foltynewicz, as well as great seasons from Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Arodys Vizcaino, and Aníbal Sánchez — among others — helped the Braves challenge in the NL East ahead of schedule.

Last month, we learned that Snitker almost quit his job with the Braves due to a sour relationship with former GM John Coppolella. Coppolella later resigned as a result of his role in violating international signing rules. Freeman and current GM Alex Anthopoulos went on record giving Snitker a huge vote of confidence.

Melvin, 57, is now a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner, having previously won in 2007 with the Diamondbacks and in 2012 with the A’s. In 2018, he saw a 22-win turnaround. Unfortunately for the A’s, their 97-win season wasn’t good enough while playing in the same division as the Astros, who won 103 games.

Melvin received 18 of 30 first-place votes. Red Sox manager Alex Cora finished in second place, followed by Kevin Cash of the Rays, A.J. Hinch of the Astros, and Aaron Boone of the Yankees.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.