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Arizona Diamondbacks SnakePit Awards: Pitcher of the Year nominations

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More likely to be a procession than a contest, I suspect.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, some interesting discussion with regard to the second through fifth slots in this category. While Greinke was an obvious shoe-in, there were cases to be made for (and against!) just about everyone else who pitched for the Diamondbacks. That apparently goes all the way down to Caleb Joseph: thanks, kilnborn! :) But, in the end, the selection committee came to their decision, and these are the five men for whom you get to cast a vote. The winner will be announced on Sunday.

Archie Bradley

If we had a category for Comeback Player of the Year, it might well be Archie’s, even if his comeback took place IN the year. For after his appearance on June 22, his season ERA was 5.66. His struggles preceded this year: Over his previous 61 appearances and innings, daring back to mid-July last season, it was above six (6.05). But relievers: volatility is thy middle name. The rest of the way, Bradley K’d 42 batters over 36 innings, on his way to an ERA of 1.42. As Greg Holland faltered, Archie stepped up, taking over the closer’s role permanently from Holland at the end of July (his first save is above). He converted 18 saves in 19 opportunities, and ended up leading the 2019 Diamondbacks in that category.

Andrew Chafin

Chafin has appeared in 70+ games each of the last three season, the only player in the majors to have done so. This year, he struck out a career best 68 batters in only 52.2 innings, an 11.6 K-rate which trailed just Robbie Ray on the team. While not getting any love from the BABIP gods (a .359 figure, fifty-seven points higher than his career average before this season). he still managed to give the team an ERA+ of 119. He was particularly good with runners in scoring position, holding opposing hitters to a line of .189/.271/.302, a .573 OPS. As a result, only six runners scored of the 53 he inherited, a career-best 89% strand-rate. Above, he strands three bequeathed by Ray and Yoan Lopez. With no outs, to boot.

Zac Gallen

The arrival of Gallen at the trade deadline provided just the boost the team needed to balance the departure of Greinke: the two pitchers delivered identical bWAR for their new teams. No trade-deadline arrival in Arizona has probably had a better impact than Gallen, since Daniel Hudson went 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 2010. Over eight starts, Zac had a 2.89 ERA, and struck out 53 batters in 43.2 innings for the Diamondbacks. This came to a peak on September 4 (above), when he took a no-no into the seventh inning, before it was broken up by Manny Machado. That was the only hit Gallen allowed, striking out eight and walking one: hopefully, a sign of many more similar outings to come.

Zack Greinke

The importance of Greinke’s best spell in a Diamondbacks uniform can’t be over-stated. For it paved the way for a deal to Houston in July, where the return proved far greater than almost everyone expected. That came both in terms of the quality of prospects received by Arizona, and the relatively small amount of cash which had to be sent with him. After a rough start, getting shelled on Opening Day in Los Angeles, Greinke settled down. Over his final 20 appearances for the D-backs, Greinke lost only three times, with a 2.36 ERA and a K:BB ratio above six (113:18). That included the April 25th contest above, where he blanked the Pirates over seven innings, on two hits. And Greinke being Greinke, also tripled.

Merrill Kelly

I’m not sure what odds you’d have got of Kelly being the pitcher to throw most innings for the D-backs in 2019. But our 30-year-old rookie proved to be up to the task, throwing 183.1 innings in his first season facing major-league hitters. It was, probably inevitably, a process of adjustment. April included eight innings of one-run ball, but also an outing where Kelly took 109 pitches to get through 3.2 innings, walking seven. However. the progress was there, and the team arguably had no better pitcher over the last month of the season. Kelly had a 2.18 ERA over his last five starts, going 4-1 while striking out 35 over those 33 innings. Above is the Sep 20 outing, where he and two relievers combined for a three-hit shutout.

Poll

Who was the D-backs 2019 Pitcher of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Archie Bradley
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Andrew Chafin
    (2 votes)
  • 14%
    Zac Gallen
    (14 votes)
  • 57%
    Zack Greinke
    (55 votes)
  • 12%
    Merrill Kelly
    (12 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now