It's the time of the year again to vote for the Greatest in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBYs). Last season, our Padres were nominated in four categories and came out with one win as Chase Headley took home Breakout Hitter of the Year. This time around, two Padres players are nominated for three separate categories.
Any Padres fan would agree that Andrew Cashner was a welcome addition to our rotation. But that fact did not escape those outside the Friar Faithful community either. The right-hander is up for two GIBBYs. First: Breakout Pitcher of the Year. 2013 was Cashner's first full season in MLB and it was an impressive one.
Cashner is also nominated for Pitching Performance of the Year for his one-hitter in Pittsburgh on September 16th (which may have been a perfect game if some Padres fan in Burbank would have refrained from tuning in to probably his first game in months). Cashner retired the first 18 batters he faced before giving up his first and only hit, a single in the 7th inning. But that runner was erased on an inning-ending double play...
... so despite still eluding the elusive first no-hitter / perfect game in Padres history, Cashner still made a mark by facing the minimum 27 batters in a complete game effort.
Will Venable was another one of the 2013 season's bright spots. He had a career year offensively, but also excelled on defense. And it was one of those defensive highlights that has earned him a GIBBY nomination. On June 17th at AT&T Park, he stunned fans with an incredible, game-saving, diving catch in the 12th frame.
It was not only a gorgeous play; it also ended the inning, preventing the walk-off win for the Giants...
...and giving the Padres a boost that helped them score the winning runs in the very next inning.
GIBBYs are awarded based on votes by media, front-office personnel, former MLB players, and members of SABR; as well as fans who vote at MLB.com. You can see the rest of the nominees and cast your votes here.
I personally think it would be rad for our boys to come away with at least one of these awards. It was disappointing to see our affiliates come out empty-handed in this year's Minor League version of the GIBBYs (entitled the MILBYs), despite being nominated in five out of the 13 categories. Even the San Antonio Missions, who led both the Texas League hitting and pitching leaderboards and won their second Championship title in three years, barely made the Top 10 out of 12 teams nominated for Team of the Year, getting a measly 4% of the votes. Even though these awards don't really mean too much, it was nice seeing Headley get that recognition last year and it would be nice to see Cashner and/or Venable get some this year.