Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Team Awards: Philadelphia Phillies

In order to review the 2013 season, the crackpot staff of Off Base is handing out awards to each Major League team. Please send us $19.95 for the shipping and handling of your team's Hello Kitty stickers awards. Here are the Most Valuable Player, Least Valuable Player, Cy Young, Cy Yuck, Rookie of the Year and Reliever of the Year for the Philadelphia Phillies. 

*Guidelines, prices and participation may vary by author*

MVP: Cliff Lee

There is snow in the forecast, so of course I am writing about a team where a pitcher was it's most valuable player. I wanted to write Chase Utley's name in here along with his 3.9 fWAR and 126 wRC+, but I just couldn't do it. I do get a bonus though whenever I mention Chase Utley in a blog post though. So, Chase Utley Chase Utley Chase Utley Chase Utley. There, that should earn me some brownie points with MTD, maybe even actual brownies. 

Aside from the Utley-love that resonates around these parts, it was Cliff Lee that was the driving force for the underwhelming Phillies in 2013. His 5.1 fWAR led the team, and I personally have never seen a pitcher who's ERA, FIP and xFIP (2.87, 2.82, 2.78) were so close together. Lee may very well be the perfect pitcher, unfortunately, his 14-8 record isn't going to get much love with the BBWAA crowd. Don't worry, Cliff, you're still loved by those who pay attention (And those who are suckers for smooth lefties).

[Ed: If you'd like to argue Albert Pujols should have won the MVP in 2006 or 2007, we don't have to have a problem. But if you wanted to give a Phillie the MVP in 2006 or 2007 and chose Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins over Chase Utley, then I'm blocking you, reporting you as spam and turning you over to the NSA]

LVP: Ryan Howard

Why Ryan Howard and not Roy Halladay? Because $20MM says you should be better than a 0.4 fWAR. It is also more of an indictment upon Ruben Amaro. Halladay's contract is up and his option was declined. Howard is going to make $75MM over the next three years. All of the Harry Kalas impersonations and Subway commercials can't save you now, Ryan. 

 Cy Young: Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee, you were named both MVP and Cy Young of the Phillies by some blogger. How do you feel?

Cy Yuck: Roy Halladay

Who would have thought that Roy Halladay would ever be the worst pitcher for whatever team he was playing for? As if his -0.8 fWAR wasn't enough, he also posted an ERA of 6.82 to go along with a 6.14 FIP. Thank goodness for that DL stint, huh? Who knows how bad this season could have been.

Rookie of the Year: Darin Ruf

It's pretty slim pickins when a team has not one single rookie be worth at least one win during the season, and although Jonathon Pettibone had a higher fWAR than Ruf (0.6 to 0.1), Pettibone was incredibly mediocre. Ruf didn't exactly set the world on fire, but he did have a .354 wOBA and a wRC+ of 125. 

Reliever of the Year: Jake Diekman

HA! Eat that, Jonathan Papelbon

I didn't pick Diekman because he isn't Papelbon. That helps, but that wasn't the reason. His 0.6 fWAR was only a shade under the Phillies closer, but his ERA (2.8), FIP (2.50) and K/9 (9.63) were all better than what Papelbon did for the Phillies in 2013. He also doesn't make this face:

These are the important things that go into awards voting, people. These are the intangibles. 

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