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2023 SnakePit Awards: Unsung Hero nominations

That was as interesting as expected

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v. Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three Photo by Chris Coduto/MLB Photos via Getty Images

A fascinating set of suggestions put forward in the open nominations thread. Admittedly, not all the suggestions were serious...or wise... But there were certainly a decent selection from which to pull five candidates. Below are those chosen. They are listed in alphabetical order, and accompanied with the "sales pitch" given by the Snakepitter who put them forward.

Kevin Ginkel

Nominated by gzimmerm and Jack Sommers. "He was either under the radar (at best) or the subject of some scorn (at worst) until he broke out late in the season... Don't forget he was also demoted to Reno for 15 days in June despite having a 2.76 ERA and 3.39 FIP just so the team wouldn't have to DFA....checks notes.......Jose Ruiz ?!?! Needless to say that didn't sit well, but he took it like a man and didn't complain. It helped motivate him the rest of the season though. Kevin is a really nice guy, but at the same time you could see he had the ass about being sent out and when he came back he was determined to prove he belonged. Boy, did he ever belong."

Tommy Henry

Nominated by Dbacks fan from Japan. "Although Henry only started 16 games this year, he was much more of a stable performer in the starting role than Ryne was this year (with Henry putting up 1.1 bWAR to Ryne's 0, though both put up 0.7 fWAR), despite being the least "exciting" out of the three rookie starters we had at the beginning of this year, with Nelson and Jameson both having better results in 2022 than Henry. The lack of Henry towards the end of the season (coupled with the unfortunate lackluster performance from Ryne) was the Dbacks biggest weakness, and was sorely evident in the postseason. For this I say that without Henry we may very well have been eliminated from contention without even making it to the postseason this year!"

Jose Herrera

Nominated by FootstepsFalco16. "I know his overall stats are nothing that stands out, but when watching every day when he played, he always seemed to do something in each game to help the team. Whether it be draw a hard-earned walk to turn the lineup back over or putting the ball in play to move a runner to 3rd. He also came in to hold the staff steady in two playoff series, and got to celebrate with Sewald on our first two clinchers."

Ryne Nelson

Nominated by Imstillhungry95. "It was hardly the best rookie season ever, but imagine what the rotation would have looked like without his 27 starts. I don’t think we even sniff the playoffs without having a third consistent starter in the rotation."

Andrew Saalfrank

Nominated by kilnborn

  • "In game 3 of the NLDS, he came in and threw one pitch to record one out.
  • In game 2 of the NLCS, he came in and threw one pitch to record one out.
  • In game 4 of the World Series, he came in and threw two pitches to record two outs.

Also went 10.1 innings down that critical stretch in September without allowing an earned run, including pitching the 10th and 11th innings in that crucial extra-inning win against the Cubs."

Poll is below, or linked here. It’ll close some point Ftiday, with the result going up on Saturday afternoon.