The Strange Case for the AL Cy Young

Ryan Gaydos@@RyanGaydosSenior Analyst ISeptember 28, 2010

The Strange Case For the AL Cy Young

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    MINNEAPOLIS - APRIL 9:  Pitcher Johan Santana #57 of the Minnesota Twins holds his 2004 Cy Young trophy that was presented to him before the start of the Twins' American League game against the Chicago White Sox at the Metrodome April 9, 2005 in Minneapol
    Eric Miller/Getty Images

    This year's AL Cy Young voting is going to be a quirky yet interesting case. I honestly believe that there are many candidates for the award. Some people that I think are candidates could be a little outrageous and yet others are a no-brainer. Let's go through the list of potential AL Cy Young candidates.

Clay Buchholz

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 15:  Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 15, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Red Sox defeated the Mariners 5-1. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Imag
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Clay Buchholz
    Boston Red Sox

    17-7, 2.33 ERA, 120 K

    I realized last night that Clay Buchholz was the real deal when he let up only one earned run over eight innings against the White Sox. Buchholz, like Lester, has a problem: he’s pitching for a third-place team. Buchholz will not get the recognition from them media that he deserves. But give him time, you will see the him and Lester progress to being the top pitchers in baseball.

Trevor Cahill

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    OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 19:  Trevor Cahill #53 of the Oakland Athletics looks on after striking out Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 19, 2010 in Oakland, California.
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Trevor Cahill
    Oakland A’s

    17-8, 3.08 ERA, 112 K

    Cahill is the next dominant pitcher in the Oakland A’s organization. The A’s always seem to produce a great pitcher year-after-year and Cahill is the latest one. He’s pitching for a losing team but you have to give him some Cy Young potential with a 17-8 record for a team that was in contention for the AL West for quite some time. Cahill is an up and coming force to be reckoned with. I like this kid a lot. He will grow into a champion.

Felix Hernandez

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 05:  Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on August 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Felix Hernandez
    Seattle Mariners

    12-12, 2.31 ERA, 227 K

    I’m pretty sure that his numbers speak for himself. Hernandez is pitching for the Mariners so he doesn’t get much run support, hence why he as a lowly 12-12 record. But that 2.31 ERA and 227 strikeouts are hard to argue with when talking about the Cy Young Award. The most he let up in a loss was seven runs, and that only happened twice. Hernandez is a franchise pitcher and the Mariners need more offense to back up this flamethrower.

Jon Lester

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25:  Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on September 25, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Jon Lester
    Boston Red Sox

    19-8, 2.96 ERA, 220 K

    Lester has great numbers but the only problem here is that he’s pitching for a third place team. The Red Sox poor offensive showing has overshadowed their great pitching this season. It is a shame that Lester may not get consideration.

David Price

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 27:  Pitcher David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on August 27, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    David Price
    Tampa Bay Rays

    18-6, 2.84 ERA, 179 K

    Probably the greatest challenge to CC is Price. In the last two games that Price faced Sabathia, the Rays have come out victorious. Price is 2-1 against the division foes with a 4.39 ERA in four games. Price has proved himself to be dominant but it could come down to who wins the division to see who comes out on top for Cy Young.

CC Sabathia

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 23, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    C.C. Sabathia
    New York Yankees

    20-7, 3.26 ERA, 189 K

    Sabathia could be the obvious case for Cy Young. His phenomenal pitching has kept the Yankees in the race for the AL East crown. In his last ten starts, Sabathia is 7-2 with a 3.41 ERA and 62 strikeouts. Why not give him the Cy Young?

Joakim Soria

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 15:  Pitcher Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws toward first during the game against the New York Yankees on August 15, 2010 at Kauffman stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Joakim Soria
    Kansas City Royals

    1-2, 1.55 ERA, 69 K, 42/44 SV

    Soria is probably not even a real candidate but I thought I’d mention him because he has 42 saves...on the ROYALS. The Royals have a record of 64-92 and Soria has saved over 50 percent of games for them. He has the lowest ERA coming out of their bullpen and will be a key component if the franchise decides it wants to win this century.

And The Winner...

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 13:  C.C. Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 13, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Overall, I believe that CC Sabathia will be the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner. Sabathia has  basically carried the team on his back in the absence of Andy Pettitte while the team was busy shifting Phil Hughes from the rotation to the bullpen and back again. Sabathia’s 20-7 record speaks for itself when it comes to Cy Young talk.

    However, do not count out Felix Hernandez or David Price. It would be odd to see Hernandez win with a 12-12 record right now but his ERA and strikeout total are extraordinary. Price is a key component in the Rays rotation and without him, I don’t think the Rays are still a contender for the AL East crown.

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