NL Mid-Season Baseball Awards

With baseball at the All-Star break, we assembled the staff here at LBS to select our mid-season baseball awards. Yesterday, we posted the AL awards. Today, it’s the NL awards.


Steve DelVecchio says Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: The Reds, yes the Reds, are in first place and much of it is because of the bat and glove of Votto. He’s hitting .314 with 22 HR and 60 RBI and has made only two errors, yet somehow it took the fans voting him in on the final vote to earn a spot on the NL All-Star team. I’m giving it to him for now because he has the Reds in first, but I’m sure he’ll come back to earth at some point. My honorable mentions are Albert Pujols and David Wright. Isn’t it just a tradition to give it to Pujols? He’s got the stats for it at .307 with 21 HR and 64 RBI. As for Wright, he’s been raking even though the Mets could be the streakiest team in the history of baseball. He has a .314 average with 14 HR and 65 RBI. To top that off, he’s mixed in 15 steals which is just outside the top 10 in the NL.

Alan Hull says Joey Votto: The batting average, home runs and RBI are impressive and he plays on a winning team. Pujols or David Wright are keeping pace and can’t be counted out in the second half.

Jake Walker says Joey Votto: Never has a snub for the All-Star Game proven to be more powerful. When he got left off the roster and relegated to the fan vote, it made everyone wake up to realize how much he was dominating the NL this year.

Larry Brown says Joey Votto: Much like Miguel Cabrera in the AL, Votto has some of the best numbers in the NL across the board. He finished the first half strong by homering in seven of his team’s last 15 games to give him 22 on the year. I’m guessing Albert Pujols catches him and wins it, but Votto’s putting up one heck of a fight.


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Roy Halladay Throws Perfect Game

It’s been an unbelievable year for pitching accomplishments in MLB this season. Things got started with Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter for the Rockies against the Braves. That was only the start of things to come as A’s pitcher Dallas Braden then tossed the 19th perfect game in modern MLB history against the Rays on Mother’s Day. Then on Saturday night, Roy Halladay threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins, the second perfecto in Phillies history and the 20th in MLB history.

Halladay of course retired all 27 batters he faced, doing it by throwing 115 pitches, 75 of which were strikes. Doc struck out 11 batters, got eight groundouts, and six flyouts in the win. Halladay’s perfect game obviously stands out on its own, but it’s just another example of Roy’s all-around brilliance. Halladay has made 11 starts this season and this was his third complete game shutout. While the chances of Halladay winning 25 games is slim since he’s 7-3 on the year with about 23 starts left to make on the season, there’s no doubting his brilliance. Roy’s breaking ball was sharp, his sinker was dropping like a mofo, and everything he threw was moving. You know what? Things really weren’t all that much different for Halladay on the hill this time around from every other time he makes a start.

Halladay is one of the best pitchers in baseball and he’s been that for a long time now. I’m glad he now has a perfect game on his resume to go along with his numerous other accomplishments and I’m glad he got the closure he hasn’t had since his rookie season. MLB Network explained that Halladay came within an out of tossing a perfect game against the Tigers in his rookie year but Bobby Higginson burned him with a home run. This time around, Halladay got Ronny Paulino to ground out to third to finish off the job. Roy Halladay now has a Cy Young Award, six All-Star selections, two 20-win seasons, and a perfect game on his resume. There’s no debating his greatness.

Already 3-0, Can Halladay Win 25 Games?

Major League Baseball hasn’t seen a 25-game winner in 20 years.  The last time the feat was accomplished, in 1990, Bob Welch went on to win 27 games for the Oakland Athletics.  The game of baseball has changed.  Pitchers no longer go deep into games on a regular basis.  It’s highly unlikely that a pitcher will ever win 300 games over the course of their career  again.  Roy Halladay, who will turn 34 in a month, certainly isn’t going to reach that mark.  He’s only half way there after winning his 151st game on Friday.  However, that doesn’t mean the Doc isn’t a little behind the times.

By that I mean Halladay is the ultimate work-horse – a true bulldog who has nine innings on the brain every time he takes the mound, in an era where general managers go into cardiac arrest every time a starter eclipses the 100-pitch mark.  He’s thrown over 200 innings each of the past two seasons, seasons in which he won 20 and 17 games for the lowly Toronto Blue Jays.  After a 3-0 start to the 2010 season with his new club — the National League powerhouse Philadelphia Phillies — you’d be silly to think it would be unrealistic for Doc to win 25 games before the season’s over.

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Phillies Need to Stop Screwing Around, Pull Trigger on Roy Halladay Already

When it comes to evaluating mid-season trades, I like to examine things on a case-by-case basis. For instance, you won’t hear me give a blanket policy saying “always trade prospects for established players” or “you must win now.” Instead, I like to examine all factors at play such as payroll, how realistic the team’s chances of winning are, how much better the team is getting, how much worse they will be in the future, and several other items.

Take for example the Dodgers who have been rumored to be talking with the Indians about trading James Loney and either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw plus a minor leaguer for Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. While Lee is better than both Billingsley and Kershaw, it’s not a huge upgrade. Likewise, Victor’s an upgrade over Loney, but move Martinez to first because Martin’s catching and he becomes just an above-average first baseman rather than a perennial All-Star. While the Dodgers would be upgrading at each position, the chances of them re-signing both in two years is slim, and then they’d lose out on five years of Kershaw at a good price or three years of Billingsley at a good price. And adding Lee and Victor doesn’t make you say “Yeah, they’re going to win it all now!” so it’s a deal I wouldn’t be dying to make.

But if the Phillies would buckle down and just pay the price for Roy Halladay, they’d have an excellent shot at winning the World Series this year, and a really good shot at winning one next year (assuming Howard, Utley, and Rollins don’t die while scuba diving off the coast of Barbados). Ruben Amaro Jr. shouldn’t just be satisfied with winning one World Series; he should try to seize history while the Phillies have a chance to build a dynasty.

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