Today is the official start of Awards Week for the Baseball Writers Association of America. Over the next week and a half all of the biggest baseball awards will be handed out. The award with the biggest Rays implications will be given out today. The Rookie of the Year will be handed out for both leagues.
The Rays have a good chance to bring home the hardware in this one. Jeremy Hellickson had an amazing rookie season for the Rays, going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA as the Rays number three starter. Michael Pineda could be close to Hellickson, but ultimately I think Hellickson’s numbers are better for the whole season. In addition to Hellickson, it will be interesting to see where Desmond Jennings ends up. He won’t win, but he will most likely get some votes for his stellar second half of the season, even if he wasn’t in the Majors all year.
The AL Manager of the Year Award will be given out on Wednesday. Joe Maddon has the chance to win for the second time in four seasons, after winning in 2008. This will be a close race, but Maddon certainly deserves it since the Rays pulled off the improbable comeback and made the playoffs in a year most expected to be a developing year for the Rays. Nobody expected them to make the postseason since the Red Sox and Yankees were both so strong on paper coming into the season and the Rays suffered some major losses last offseason.
The Rays don’t really have a chance to take home any other awards, but Rays players will certainly see some votes in the other awards. James Shields will most likely get some consideration for Cy Young, even though Justin Verlander will win running away with it. It will be interesting to see if any Rays get votes for MVP, but I doubt it. Zobrist and Longoria have a chance to see some votes, but certainly won’t be anywhere near the top.