The Los Angeles Angels have seen their starting rotation go from mediocre to bad in 2012, but the only reliable player the team has had all year long has been ace Jered Weaver, who deserves to win the American League Cy Young Award in 2012.
Though his last outing was forgettable to say the least—he gave up a career-worst nine runs on eight hits in just three innings—Weaver has been the only Angels starter worth trusting to put forth a solid effort night in and night out.
When the team was at its worst early in the year, it was Weaver who held it together.
It wasn't until late May that the Angels dug themselves out of the sub-.500 hole in the standings. The team struggled mightily, and players like Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson weren't living up to their lofty expectations from fans.
That's when Weaver was at his best. He posted a 10-1 record with a 1.96 ERA, 73 strikeouts and just 22 walks before the All-Star break. He was steady through trying times, and while the team imploded around him, he remained rock-solid.
The Halos' on-field struggles weren't the only challenges he faced in 2012. Weaver suffered a lower back injury that caused him to miss two starts while on the 15-day DL. But when he returned, he picked up right where he left off and shut out the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
The numbers are behind him to substantiate his status as a clutch performer. Despite his last shaky outing, he is still the American League leader in opponents' batting average with an impressive mark of .205 in that category. Equally as impressive is his WHIP of 0.97, the only sub-1.00 figure in the American League among qualifiers. He's second in the AL in wins with 15.
That's after missing two starts with the aforementioned injury.
Weaver can do it all, and he's been Mr. Clutch all year long for the up-and-down Angels. If they tank and miss the playoffs, it won't be his fault. Should they come together, turn things around and fight their way into the playoffs, it will be Weaver who will be the best player on the team not named Mike Trout.
That's exactly why he deserves consideration for the AL Cy Young.