Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MVP Talk...Already???

Hey, it's never to early to talk MVP. Especially during the All-Star break. I think I've read enough comments on other blogs that I don't have to go into the "Chris Berman/Joe Morgan" suck conversation.

The Troll posted yesterday about the possibility of Carl Crawford getting the A.L. MVP. I'll leave the A.L. MVP talk for another day. Someone HOO shall remain nameless commented about the possibility of Ubaldo Jimenez getting both the Cy Young and N.L. MVP. I think it's highly possible that may happen. Of course Mr. Jimenez has to keep putting up the numbers, but it isn't unprecedented.

Ubaldo is the first pitcher since David Wells in 2000 to win 15 games prior to the All-Star Break. Wells, pitching for the Blue Jays, reached the Break with a 15-2 record, but had quite a drop off in the second half, finishing at 20-8. Still a great record, but 5-6 in the second half is VERY ordinary and not MVP/Cy Young worthy. Ubaldo, at 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA, should be able to finish up better than that.

Before we look at the MVP/Cy Young possibility, let's look just at wins. Ubaldo has a decent chance to do something no one has done in a long, long time. Win 25+ games.

The closest to do it in recent years were these guys.

Randy Johnson won 24 games in 2002 for the Diamondbacks.

John Smoltz won 24 for the Braves in 1996.

You have to go all the way back to 1990 to find a pitcher with more than 24 wins. Bob Welch, then with Oakland, won 27 that year. (I didn't have any Welch scans in an Oakland uni).

Of course, as many of you know, you have to go back many years to find someone who put up a 30 win season. Denny McLain won 31 games in 1968. I'd say it's very long odds that Ubaldo gets to 30 wins, but 25 is a very realistic number.

Now, back to that Cy Young/MVP talk. It hasn't been done in nearly 20 years, but it's possible.

In 1992, Dennis Eckersley won both awards by posting a 7-1 record, with a 1.91 ERA and 51 saves. You have to go back a number of years to find the last N.L. pitcher to win both awards in the same season.

In 1968, Big Bad Bob Gibson won both awards with a 22-9 record, an unreal 1.12 ERA and 268 K's in 304.2 innings.

So, how many wins do you think Ubaldo ends up with and does it translate to a Cy Young and/or MVP award?

**For the record, Denny McLain won both awards in his amazing 1968 season as well.

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