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2021 Pitcher of the Year: Nominations open

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No shortage of candidates. Credible ones, though...

Arizona Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks used 41 different pitchers this year. That far and away blows past the previous high of 30, set in 2018, and is more than twice the number used in four seasons, most recently 2008 with twenty. Indeed, this would have been a new all-time record for the National League, as the most through the end of 2020 was 37. That was most recently achieved by the Marlins in that 2020 campaign - yep, despite there being only sixty games played that year. But this season, a full 40% of the National League, six teams, used 38 or more pitchers. As well as the D-backs, the Pirates, Brewers, Dodgers and Cubs did so, and the Mets took the title with their 42, the same as the Orioles in the AL.

There was, you’ll understand, an extremely long tail to the pitchers Arizona used. A dozen threw fewer than eight innings, and only fifteen reached the mediocre level of thirty innings of work. I think the latter seems a reasonable cutoff, in terms of posting data as far as potential candidates for this award is concerned. Therefore, below are the basic stats for those fifteen with 30+ innings of work, in alphabetical order.

2021 pitchers

Name Age G IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA FIP K% WAR
Name Age G IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA FIP K% WAR
M. Bumgarner 31 26 146.1 134 82 76 24 39 124 4.67 4.63 20.2% 1.5
H. Castellanos 23 14 45.2 48 26 25 7 15 29 4.93 5.01 14.8% 0.3
Taylor Clarke 28 43 43.1 52 28 24 4 14 39 4.98 3.54 20.1% 0.0
Jake Faria 27 23 32.2 39 21 20 5 13 32 5.51 4.58 20.8% 0.0
Zac Gallen 25 23 121.1 108 61 58 19 49 139 4.30 4.25 26.6% 2.1
Tyler Gilbert 27 9 40.0 28 17 14 4 13 25 3.15 4.27 15.9% 1.2
Merrill Kelly 32 27 158.0 163 82 78 21 41 130 4.44 4.11 19.5% 2.5
Joe Mantiply 30 57 39.2 45 24 15 1 17 38 3.40 2.94 21.5% 0.0
Matt Peacock 27 35 86.1 107 55 47 13 28 50 4.90 4.98 13.0% 0.3
Noe Ramirez 31 36 32.2 18 12 10 2 11 29 2.76 3.48 22.0% 0.8
Caleb Smith 29 45 113.2 93 64 61 20 63 124 4.83 5.10 24.8% 0.7
Riley Smith 26 24 67.1 86 46 45 10 15 36 6.01 4.88 12.0% -0.4
Luke Weaver 27 13 65.2 58 34 31 11 20 62 4.25 4.42 22.6% 0.9
Taylor Widener 26 23 70.1 65 38 34 14 37 73 4.35 5.56 22.9% 0.8
Alex Young 27 30 41.2 50 34 29 11 20 38 6.26 6.29 19.7% -0.9

As usual, we need to narrow the candidates down to five or thereabouts, for the final poll. This will be done largely on the basis of recs in the comments, though the decision of the judging committee i.e. me, will be final in this regard. Just identify the player in the subject line, and make your case in the body of the comment. If you agree with a choice already made, give it a rec. If you don’t see your choice, post a new comment. I will delete subsequent top-level comments about the same game. Poll to follow on Friday, if you are not too busy stuffing yourself with pre-Christmas food.