As a member of the BBA I have to, or get to, vote on some year end awards. I’ll be posting my ballots for all the major awards, but this one and the AL MVP are my two responsibilities. Without further ado, my three finalists for the Goose Gossage award:
3. Neftali Feliz, Texas
One of the finalists for Rookie of the Year, Feliz put up great numbers in the back of Texas’s bullpen. In 69.1 IP Feliz he struck out 9.22/9 and walked 2.34/9. He didn’t have a great ground ball rate, but Feliz combated that by having good linedrive and HR numbers. His fastball was also one of the better ones in baseball.
2. Joakim Soria, Kansas City
Soria continues being one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. Striking out just under 10 per 9 innings and sporting a 2.53 FIP, Soria continued his great pitching for one of the worst teams in baseball. His 48% groundball rate was the best of his career.
1. Matt Thornton, Chicago
Although my most memorable moment from his 2010 will be Jim Thome’s walkoff HR, Thornton led all relievers with a 2.14 FIP this year. He struck out an incredible 12 hitters per 9 innings, and although he threw almost all fastballs, he still had great HR rates, probably helped along by the fact that that fastball was one of the best in the majors. Thornton was easily the best reliever in baseball in 2010.
So that was pretty short and sweet, but the AL relievers were pretty straightforward this year. My MVP column will be much longer and (hopefully) more interesting.