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AZ SnakePit Awards: Pitcher of the year voting

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Probably significant that only four pitchers received any nominations at all for this award...

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Fortunately, all of those received enough recommendations to turn red, so those four make it onto the ballot. I've a feeling the final result here will prove to be quite conclusive, based on the number of recs received by each candidate, but everything is reset to zero, and it is strictly the number of votes in the poll below which will decide who is the winnter. Let's take a look at the four possible choices, which as usual, will be reviewed in alphabetical order...

Andrew Chafin

Chafin debuted as a starter, but was moved to the bullpen for 2015, and gave the D-backs an extremely solid season, Among rookies with 60+ innings, Chafin's 2.76 ERA was third all-time for Arizona behind Oscar Villarreal (2.57 in 2003) and Daniel Hudson (1.69 in 2010). Even more impressively, among our left-handed relievers of any age with 50+ IP, Andrew trailed just Greg Swindell's 2.51 back in 1999. Chafin wasn't just a LOOGY either, facing more right-handers than left, and holding RHB to a .225 average. He also worked more than an inning 23 times and in 11 appearances + 25.1 frames working two-plus, held opponents to 12 hits and six walks, with a 1.42 ERA,

Josh Collmenter

Collmenter was our Opening Day starter, and already won Performance of the Year for his compete-game shutout as a member of our rotation. But it was his work after returning to the bullpen that was outstanding. Before this year, we had never had any pitcher throw 40+ innings out of the bullpen and post a sub-two ERA. The best (surprisingly!) was Elmer Dessens's 2.03, back in 2004. Josh threw 52.1 relief innings with a 1.89 ERA this year. Our long reliever went 2+ innings 15 times, and his rubber arm proved highly useful. For instance, he threw 76 pitches on August 1, then on two days rest, came back and threw 62 more on August 4, combining for 8.1 innings of two-run ball.

Robbie Ray

Ray didn't start in the rotation. Indeed, his only pre-June appearance was an emergency start for the second game of a Coors Field double-header, which he won, tossing six innings of one-run ball. He became a permanent part of the rotation on June 4 and tossed five shutout innings against the Mets. Through first eight starts as a D-back, he had a 2.16 ERA. Ray's K-rate of 8.39 per nine innings was also the second-highest ever by a D-backs rookie who started more than five games. If he follows a career path anything like the #1, we'll be quite happy, since the record holder is some guy called Brandon Webb, who was a year older than Ray when posting an 8.57 K-rate in 2003.

Brad Ziegler

Know I said above we'd never had a reliever with a sub-two ERA before this year? We had two in 2015, and Brad was fractionally better than Josh, with a 1.85 ERA. The resulting ERA+ of 221 made him the sixth-best reliever in all of baseball, and his career figure for Arizona of 161 is far and away the best by any bullpen pitcher. He took over the closer's job in late May, and was all but automatic thereafter. He ended the year with an active streak of 28 consecutive saves, tying the franchise record set by J.J. Putz. In 36 save situations, Ziegler had a 1.50 ERA, and held all batters below the Uecker Line, to a .198 average and miniscule .524 OPS on the season.