Probably not going to be one of the more competitive categories this, but it is nice to actually have some good pitching to talk about. Last year, we topped out at 2.5 bWAR for Merrill Kelly; MadBum was the third-best pitcher on the team, which perhaps says a lot! This year, both Kelly and Zac Gallen easily passed that 2.5 mark (5.1 and 3.6 bWAR respectively), and there were good performances late in the season from some rookies, which will hopefully augur well for 2023 and beyond. Couple of points to note: no, I will NOT be adding Madison Bumgarner to the poll so he can get no votes. Also, taking a Christmas break, so there’ll be a week off. Result for this will go up on Dec 31, with the MVP nominations opening Jan 1.
Here, for your consideration, are the nominations.
[Nominated by Michael McDermott] 44 1/3 scoreless innings, Top 5 Cy Young, the pitcher that should have gone to the All Star game.
[Nominated by SafeTwire389] ‘d like to highlight R Nelson and Jameson briefly. Very small sample size for both but they really seem like they could be the future of the rotation. Depending on their performance next year it would be great if the FO could sign one or both of them to a contract, kind of like what Strider got with the Braves.
[Nominated by Smurf1000, seconded by chronicles_of_the_desert] Merrill did not miss a start all year, and ended with 200.1 innings, one of only five pitchers in all of the major leagues to cross the threshold. Naturally, he led the team in innings pitched per game at 6.1, doing more to spare us from the bullpen than any other pitcher on the team. Merrill was the NL Pitcher of the Month in July, when he pitched six games and went 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA and 0.770 WHIP, only giving up six runs the entire month.
Most importantly for Merrill, is how well he’s been improving as a Dback. Unlike some folks, who sign an extension, then immediately get worse, Merrill improved in virtually every category this year: more strikeouts, fewer home runs, improved his ERA+ from 95 in 2021 to 119 in 2022. Merrill has worked hard to be where he is, and we should be grateful to have him.
[Nominated by... er, me] Out of nowhere, he was insanely good for the first three months of the year. Through June 21st he had a 0.34 ERA and a 1.50 FIP. He also faced 133 consecutive batters without walking one of them, striking out 34 batters between walks. Finished the year with a 2.85 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and a K:BB better than 10 (61:6), the highest by a pitcher in franchise history, min 20 IP.
The poll is below, or linked here. SnakePit users only. Again, results will be up on December 31st, as the ballot elves are getting the week off.