2011 Goose Gossage Award Ballot
The Goose Gossage award is presented to the top reliever of the season as voted by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. Last year the American League award was taken home by Rafael Soriano.
As was the case with the Connie Mack award, my ranked votes will be for the American League winner only as a member of the BBA Toronto chapter. That being said, I will also post my honourable mentions for the National League.
The position of relief pitcher has become highly specialized in today’s MLB. You have long men, mop up duty, situational lefties, 7th inning, 8th inning, closers, and relegated starters. That being said, here is my ballot.
Axford, John (MIL) – The Canadian from Simcoe, ON dazzled the folks in Milwaukee this season. He converted 46 of 48 save oportunities, ended up with a 2-2 record and a 1.95 ERA. He went from selling Telus cell phones in a Toronto area mall, and tending bar at a Hamilton East Side Marios to pitching in the NLCS as one of the most dominant closers in the game.
Clippard, Tyler (WAS) – In 2011, Clippard put up a record of 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA. He led the National League in innings pitched with 88.1 and holds with 38. All of this with the Washington Nationals who even though they made leaps and bounds this season, were still a sub .500 team with their 80-81 record.
Putz, J.J. (ARI) – Putz went 2-2, converting 45 of 49 oportunities to finish 2nd in the National League behind Axford of Milwaukee. He had an ERA of 2.17 and a WHIP of 0.91.
2011 Relief Pitcher Of The Year
Acevas, Alfredo (BOS) – After starting with the Red Sox, Acevas was optioned to Triple-A on April 21. He was recalled a couple of weeks later and then notched his first win of the season on May 16. From that point forward, Acevas notched a 9-1 record in relief (10-2 including his starts) with a 2.03 ERA. He posted 93 IP in relief, the most in the Major Leagues.
Robertson, David (NYY) – Pitching for a team that has Mariano Rivera as its closer makes it tough for any other reliever to get any notice. Robertson quietly made 70 appearances, going 4-0, notching 34 holds and a 1.08 ERA.
Valverde, Jose (DET) – The resurgent Tigers won 95 games this year partly thanks to 49 saves in 49 opportunities by Valverde, passing Todd Jones’ single season Tigers record. He led American League pitchers in appearances with 75, and games finished with 70.
- Alfredo Acevas
- Jose Valverde
- David Robertson