Because of the shorter season, a Miami Marlins pitcher has just as good a chance to win the National League Cy Young award this season.
Could a member of the Miami Marlins pitching staff win the Cy Young award this year? My honest answer is, “No” but during a season of uncertainty, I would not rule it out.
We talked a couple of weeks ago about Brian Anderson, the team’s third baseman, and how he should be an underdog contender for the Most Valuable Player in the National League. There are plenty of other contenders who will garner more votes than the rising star here in South Florida, but nonetheless he should not be excluded from the conversation.
Maybe that’s how we should take the approach about pitching considering we are talking about a Marlins pitching staff that wasn’t great last year and is still fairly young and learning how to pitch in the Majors.
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And if we are going to talk about young arms contending for the most prestigious pitching award in Major League Baseball, then it starts with Sandy Alcantara, who was named the team’s Opening Day pitcher against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 24.
Alcantara was a much better picture than his 6-14 record last year. In the second half of the season, he showed more control than in the previous season and a half he’s been a part of the team’s rotation. And when he was able to mow down hitters and pitch gems, the Miami Marlins bullpen let him down time after time.
Hopefully, that is not the case this year.
Alcantara is not the only picture who could gain recognition. Caleb Smith won 10 games last year, the most of any Marlins pitcher and is a dominating strikeout artist.
If he is able to stay healthy and can work through some issues he had with giving up home runs last year, he could be another one of those under the radar players who will gain quite a bit of support.
Another possibility could be Brandon Kintzler, who signed a free-agent deal with the Marlins this off-season. Kintzler was a member of the Cubs pitching staff last year. He has been brought in to become the Marlins closer, which is a position the Marlins organization has had issues with for the past few years.
A scenario where the veteran is able to convert all of his save opportunities and help the young rotation could lead to some regular-season hardware.