The last week in MLB was about a pair of relievers in each league winning awards, a manager in the National League signs a multi-year extension, and a team in the American League has targeted a couple of starting pitchers they hope to sign.
Liam Hendriks, Josh Hader Win Reliever of the Year Awards
Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks won the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.
Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader was selected as the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, per an announcement by MLB last week.
These two pitchers dominated out of the pen in 2021.
The Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year: Liam Hendriks!
The Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year: Josh Hader! pic.twitter.com/GjBFc3usg6
— MLB (@MLB) November 11, 2021
Hendriks was phenomenal for the White Sox last year as he posted a 2.54 ERA in 71 innings pitched (69 games) with 113 strikeouts, seven walks issued, 11 home runs surrendered, a 171 ERA+, 2.34 FIP, 0.73 WHIP, and led the AL with 38 saves.
The right-handed reliever has been lights out coming out of the bullpen the past couple of seasons.
Hader compiled a 1.23 ERA in 58 2/3 innings pitched (60 games) with 102 strikeouts, three home runs allowed, 24 walks issued, a 348 ERA+, 1.69 FIP, 0.83 WHIP, and saved 34 games for the Brewers.
He was selected as an All-Star last year for the third time in five years and has become one of the best relievers in MLB within that timeframe.
Hendriks and Hader winning the reliever of the year awards in their respective league were expected given their performance during the regular season.
San Francisco Giants Sign Manager Gabe Kapler to Two-Year Extension
The San Francisco Giants have signed manager Gabe Kapler to a two-year extension, per a team announcement.
We have officially extended the contract of Manager Gabe Kapler through the 2024 season pic.twitter.com/lb5ImSPWJm
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) November 12, 2021
Kapler had initially joined the Giants in November 2019 on a three-year contract.
He would have been a free agent after the 2022 season before agreeing to the extension.
According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area Kapler said, “There is nowhere I’d rather be, and I’m excited to continue preparing with the entire organization.”
Kapler initially signed a three-year deal, so this adds two more seasons to the final year of initial deal. In a statement, he says "there is nowhere I'd rather be, and I'm excited to continue preparing with the entire organization."
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) November 12, 2021
The Giants signing Kapler to the extension is not surprising as the manager is a finalist for the National League Manager of the Year Award.
He also guided the team to a franchise-best 107 wins during the 2021 campaign.
Kapler owns a 138-86 record with the Giants.
The Giants have had success with Kapler as their manager, and they are hopeful he leads them to a title within the next couple of seasons.
Los Angeles Angels Looking at Starting Pitchers Robbie Ray, Eduardo Rodriguez
The Los Angeles Angels would like to add one or two impact starting pitchers this offseason.
They have targeted free agent left-handed starting pitchers Robbie Ray, and Eduardo Rodriguez, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Sources: The #Angels are working to add at least one and possibly two impact starting pitchers this offseason. They’re already showing interest in free agent left-handers Robbie Ray and Eduardo Rodríguez. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 9, 2021
Ray and Rodriguez are tied to draft-pick compensation after the Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox offered one-year qualifying offers.
Ray was one of the best starting pitchers in the AL last year as he posted a 2.84 ERA in 193 1/3 innings pitched (32 starts) with a 154 ERA+, issued 52 walks, and led the AL with 248 strikeouts.
Last season, Rodriguez was solid for the Red Sox by compiling a 3.81 ERA in 203 1/3 innings pitched (34 starts) with 185 strikeouts, 47 walks surrendered, and a 3.32 FIP.
A glaring weakness for the Angels last season was their starting rotation, as they ended the 2021 season with 4.78 ERA from the rotation, which ranked as the sixth-worst in the AL.
If they can sign both pitchers, it would turn that weakness into a strength going into next season.
- Chris is a 29-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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