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2020 SnakePit Awards: Pitcher of the Year nominations open

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Yeah, more of a procession towards the inevitable, I suspect...

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Yeah, the SnakePit Casino will not be taking any bets on this category, because I think we all know who’s going to win it. Still, there is a process to be followed, and it will be interesting to see which other pitchers end up making the final ballot. Because, as we always say, it’s an honor simply to be nominated. Of course, the short season makes things even trickier than usual. I’ve drawn an arbitrary but meaningful line at 18.2 innings pitched for consideration. That figure equates to 50 innings over a full season, which seems reasonable. I’ve also drawn the line at replacement level by bWAR, because it would be silly to nominate a sub-replacement level pitcher.

So, what does that leave us with? Let me see...

Well, crap. There were only six pitchers for the Diamondbacks in 2020 who qualified using the metrics above. Can’t say I’m too surprised, considering the team ranked 29th in all baseball by pitching WAR on Fangraphs last year. Let me drop the innings requirement to ten, which is 27 innings over a full, 162-game season. Ah, that’s better. We now have ten candidates from which to pick a final five or so. The chart below gives the stats on them, along with WAR as measured by both Baseball Reference and Fangraphs, along with an average of the two metrics.

2020 D-backs pitchers

Name IP bWAR fWAR WAR H R ER BB SO ERA FIP
Name IP bWAR fWAR WAR H R ER BB SO ERA FIP
Archie Bradley 10.2 0.2 0.5 0.4 13 5 5 3 12 4.22 2.07
Taylor Clarke 43.1 0.6 0.0 0.3 35 23 21 21 40 4.36 5.20
Stefan Crichton 26.0 1.0 0.4 0.7 22 7 7 9 23 2.42 3.42
Zac Gallen 72.0 2.7 1.5 2.1 55 24 22 25 82 2.75 3.66
Junior Guerra 23.2 0.6 0.1 0.4 17 10 8 15 21 3.04 4.12
Merrill Kelly 31.1 1.4 0.6 1.0 26 9 9 5 29 2.59 3.99
Keury Mella 10.0 0.2 0.1 0.2 10 3 2 3 10 1.80 3.39
Caleb Smith 11.0 0.3 0.1 0.2 5 3 3 6 12 2.45 5.01
Riley Smith 18.1 0.6 0.3 0.5 15 3 3 5 18 1.47 2.75
Taylor Widener 20.0 0.2 -0.3 -0.1 14 10 10 12 22 4.50 6.49

That’s a more reasonable slate of candidates from which to pick. To whittle the field down, please provide up to five names in the subject line of your comment. You don’t have to give five, since I’d quite understand if you didn’t feel there were five deserving candidates this season for Arizona. The names mentioned in most comments will proceed on to the final ballot. It may be five, it may be fewer. [Hey, the less there are, the less work it is for me, so I don’t mind!] Let’s see what shakes down, for the ballot on Thursday.