Mariners Midseason Awards: Cy Young – James Paxton
By Dan Clark
The Mariners have had a tough season as the rotation goes, but there have been good moments, and for this midseason award, we’re going to look at our options and hand out the team Cy Young.
Believe it or not, in the 14 Mariners starting pitchers and 17 relief pitchers including Carlos Ruiz and Mike Freeman, there have been a number of stand-out performers. Some of these include Nick Vincent and James Pazos, but the two which are in a class of their own at the moment would be James Paxton and Ariel Miranda.
If the award came down just on pitch quality and pure ‘stuff’, there would be no questions asked, Big Maple would take it out. But, for arguments sake, lets break it down and pull the first half of this season apart.
So, the Big Maple, our favourite ‘Lefty from Ladner’ as Rick Rizzs has named him. Paxton has electric stuff when healthy, which has been the issue for him this season. He started the season on fire, only allowing 6 ER in the first two months.
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Coming back from injury Pax had a couple of rough starts, although he has settled nicely in his last four starts, including last nights start against the White Sox. His 3.19 ERA is a staff leading numbers and at the moment, is the most potent starting pitcher that we have. His 1.9 WAR is also the best on the pitching staff also.
But on the other hand, there is Ariel Miranda, who wasn’t originally in the opening day rotation plans, but he has filled in beautifully since Symly went down with what ended up being Tommy John surgery. He has been the only starter to make all of his starts this year.
While his season has been a little inconsistent to date, he has been a great pickup by Dipoto at last years trade deadline. This season Miranda has had 12 of his 18 starts, where he has allowed less than four runs in his starts.
His 18 starts and 104 innings are club leading numbers too. Miranda’s highlight came on June the 4th against Tampa Bay at home when he threw his first complete game allowing only 4 hits and 1 run. If Miranda can reduce the number of home runs he gives up (club high 20), he could become a dominant number 3 behind Paxton and Felix.
Next: Mariners Midseason Awards: ROY - Outfielder Ben Gamel
Verdict : Based on the analysis between Paxton and Miranda, the Cy Young award would clearly go to James Paxton, but massive props must go to Ariel Miranda for a fantastic first half of the season and making the decision a little difficult.