The Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBYs) honor major league players and highlights from the past season, as voted on by broadcasters, reporters, front office personnel, past MLB players, SABR members, and fans. The Awards will be presented on December 6th at 5pm PT on MLB Network and MLB.com and voting can be done online here. While 2014 was a generally awful experience for Padres fans, there were sporadic instances of "greatness" - of which three in particular were nominated for GIBBYs.
Category: Closer of the Year
Nominee: Huston Street
Street was sensational in 2014, posting a 1.37 ERA with the Padres and Angels. That mark -- which ranked third among all relievers with at least 50 innings pitched and tops among full-time closers -- helped the veteran stopper save a career-high 41 games.
As stated above and on MLB.com, Huston Street had a brilliant 2014 season. More than half of it was spent in a Padres uniform. Street pitched in 33 games for San Diego while posting a 1.09 ERA and collecting 24 saves in that stretch, up until his last appearance with the team on July 11th.
Category: Play of the Year
Nominee: Chris Nelson's catch in the stands
Chris Nelson showed little regard for his body on a play against the Rockies, tumbling into the stands while snaring a popup off the bat of Charlie Blackmon.
One of the best defensive plays of the season for San Diego (thought it was beat out by Will Venable's catch in D.C. for the SBN Award nominees). As I stated before, I think a lot of credit for this play should be shared with the Padres fans in the stands who helped allow the play to happen rather than selfishly trying to snag themselves a souvenir foul ball.
Nominee: Cashner in left field
Andrew Cashner proved to be a team player in an April extra-innings affair, entering the game late as a defensive replacement. The Padres' Opening Day starter spent just one-third of an inning in left field, exiting after one batter as part of a double switch.
Oh, Cash. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, Padres names in recent years. When he's not mowing down batters from the mound; he's either in the dugout being a supportive, if prankish, teammate or helping out the team in any way he can. When Buddy Black put him out in left field for 1/3 of an inning back in April, we all watched and listened in hopes that a ball would come his way and we would get to see his skills as an outfielder. Alas, Tim Stauffer's pitching and defensive prowess saved Cashner from having to do much in that short period of time in left field, but the moment was still a memorable one.
So there you have it. The three Padres nominees for the Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards: an All-Star pitcher we traded away, a catch by an infielder who spent less than three months with the big league club and then elected for free agency, and a player standing in left field for one out of an inning.
GO PADRES!! (Is it 2015 yet?)