There’s a new award in Major League Baseball this season, and though it’s not the Cy Young, it’s kinda close.
Well, that’s arguable at best, but the Pitch Hand of the Month Award, presented by MLB Network, honors the best pitcher in the big leagues as the calendar turns. In June, the network selected Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea.
Manaea’s numbers for the month were phenomenal, with a 1.13 ERA over 32 innings pitched in his five starts. He struck out 34 and walked just 10 batters, allowing a .181 batting average overall.
Some (or most) might say that Mets’ starting pitcher Jacob deGrom deserved the award, including a fraction of the MLB Network TV panel, as you can see here.
But since this is a new award, the clear feeling I got from MLB Network’s presentation is that the honor, while serious in nature, is also a bit lighthearted and meant to be fun and not so stodgy. Apparent mastermind of the award, the network’s Robert Flores, said the award considers “other factors besides on-field performance.”
So Manaea get’s cool points? Works for me. The big left-hander is certainly a presence on the mound, and he even had two hits in interleague play against the San Francisco Giants.
Manaea will look to start hot in July, too, as he takes the mound against the Rangers in Oakland for a Thursday afternoon game on July 1.
(Photo courtesy Jrchun)