Posted By Jeff Fletcher on August 26, 2010 12:44 pm
This is going to be the sixth year, if memory serves, that I have a Cy Young vote. I admit that I didn’t always do the best job of voting. In fact, I voted for Barry Zito in 2002 when I should have voted for Pedro Martinez. Zito had more wins, but Pedro was better in every other way.
Anyway, now I feel like I’ve come to a good place where I have a handle on what I’m doing. I believe, as I’ve written several times before, that the Cy Young is not the Best Pitcher, and it’s not the Most Valuable Pitcher. It’s the Pitcher Who Pitched the Best. The two best ways to measure how effective a pitcher was, in my opinion, are his ERA and his opponents on-base percentage. After all, the job of a pitcher, when you boil it down to its essence, is to get outs and prevent runs.
So, here’s who the leaders are right now among AL starters.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone who is on both of these lists is a Cy Young candidate, and anyone who is missing from one or the other has a lot of catching up to do. The only four guys who appear on both lists are Cliff Lee, Trevor Cahill, Jered Weaver and Felix Hernandez.
I think Lee is probably the leading candidate right now because his numbers are right there and he’s got the buzz. Felix Hernandez also ought to get some serious consideration. You also can’t discount CC Sabathia and David Price. They each appear on only one of these lists, but they are aces of good teams (which doesn’t count, to me) and they have a lot of W’s.
All that said, you can make a case that Cahill has been the best at the two most important jobs — getting outs and preventing runs — and he ought to win the Cy Young.
Of course, he won’t, but it’s fun to talk about.
By the way, Cy Young ballots go five-deep starting this year, so Cahill ought to get some recognition. Also, I have an NL Cy Young vote this year, so my opinion in this particular race doesn’t count.