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Monday, June 2, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka: RoY, CY, MVP?

Masahiro Tanaka could actually win all three awards if voting were done now, about one third into the season.

I'm not into wins above replacement (WAR) but let's take a look.

All players:
1.Tulowitzki (COL)4.5
2.Donaldson (OAK)4.4
3.Stanton (MIA)4.2
4.Trout (LAA)3.3
5.Bautista (TOR)3.1
6.Pollock (ARI)3.1
7.Cueto (CIN)3.0
8.Gomez (MIL)3.0
9.Keuchel (HOU)2.9
10.Tanaka (NYY)2.9

Pitchers:
1.Cueto (CIN)3.1
2.Keuchel (HOU)2.9
Tanaka (NYY)2.9
4.Samardzija (CHC)2.8
5.Teheran (ATL)2.7
6.Darvish (TEX)2.5
7.Buehrle (TOR)2.4
8.Hammel (CHC)2.3
9.Wainwright (STL)2.2
10.Greinke (LAD)2.2

Rookie of the year looks like a lock.

Tied with Dallas Keuchel for first among pitchers in conference, the Cy Young award as best pitcher is a very real possibility for Tanaka.

Most Valuable Player (MVP) is the stretch where Tanaka is number five in conference.  I do not believe is voting for pitchers as MVP but the voters do.  Since the CY award was introduced in 1956, all MVP pitchers also won CY.  From 1956 through 1966 there was only one CY award, not one for each league.  Let's look at pitcher MVP since 1956.

Justin Verlander June 1, 2013
by Keith Allison
via Wikimedia Commons
The five most recent pitchers voted MVP were all in the American League (or conference as I prefer to call it), which is where Tanaka plays:

Dennis Eckersley 1992 reliever
Willie Hernandez 1984 reliever
Vida Blue 1971

In 1968 both league MVP were pitchers:
Bob Gibson NL, Denny McLain, AL

Sandy Koufax 1963
Don Newcombe 1956

Only two players, both outfielders, have been both RoY and MVP in the same year:
Fred Lynn 1975
Ichiro Suzuki 2001

Dallas Keuchel of Houston (now in the American Conference (AC), remember) has an ERA of 2.70, not in the top ten.  
Tanaka leads the AC in ERA.


1.Samardzija (CHC)1.68
2.Cueto (CIN)1.68
3.Teheran (ATL)1.83
4.Hudson (SFG)1.92
5.Tanaka (NYY)2.06
6.Greinke (LAD)2.18
7.Gray (OAK)2.31
8.Wainwright (STL)2.32
9.Buehrle (TOR)2.33
10.Darvish (TEX)2.35

Most wins AC:
Mark Buehrle 9-1 (.900)
Tanaka 8-1 (.889)

Rick Porcello 8-2 (.800)

Tanaka is number 8 in strike outs per 9 innings among all pitchers.

In ERA+ Tanaka is number one in the AC:

1.Samardzija (CHC)229
2.Cueto (CIN)218
3.Teheran (ATL)202
4.Tanaka (NYY)199
5.Buehrle (TOR)179
6.Darvish (TEX)173
7.Hudson (SFG)172
8.Gray (OAK)162
9.Greinke (LAD)160
10.Kazmir (OAK)158

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