Friday, November 14, 2014


For the third time in four years, Clayton Kershaw has been named the Cy Young Award winner for the National League, and now, the guy has also won the MVP.  Mike Trout won it for the American League.

Clayton's Cy Young award was announced Wednesday by a unanimous vote as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace posted a 21-3 season record with a 1.77 ERA in the 2014 campaign. More impressive—he was able to rack up all those wins while also being on the disabled list for six weeks early in the season. With the award, the Dodger lefty becomes one of nine pitchers to earn three Cy Young Awards. At age 26, he’s also the youngest pitcher to do so.

There’s no denying that Kershaw is one of the greatest pitchers in the game today. Living in LA and following the Dodgers, I get to see Kershaw perform his magic every five days. He is a big reason the Dodgers—who were over-hyped this season IMHO—were able to hold off the Giants in the NL West and advance to the postseason.

The one blemish for Kershaw is his performance in the playoffs—the lefty has a career postseason record of 1-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 11 games. He made Dodger history this season as he became the first pitcher to lose four consecutive postseason starts (all to the Cardinals).

So yeah, the Cy Young is Kershaw's, but the next question was... could he also win the MVP? It's Kershaw... darn straight.

Before Kershaw won the National League MVP, the last time a pitcher was given that award was back in 1968 when Bob Gibson won after posting a 1.12 ERA. Many players and fans feel that only position players should be considered for the MVP award since pitchers already have the Cy Young recognition and they only play every five days. Even Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly—a 1985 AL MVP—once held the opinion that pitchers should not be considered no matter what. But it seems that Donnie Baseball may be changing his tune as he has endorsed Kershaw’s recent MVP candidacy.

As reports, Mattingly stated that his opinion changed after he saw what a player like Kershaw could do for an organization.  "I flip-flopped from when I played, but as a manager, you just see the value of what a guy like Clayton's been able to do. I do think it needs to be one of those years where it seems like it's almost extraordinary, and it seems to be one of those years." 

I agree with Mattingly that a pitcher should be awarded MVP for extraordinary performance and shouldn’t be excluded from consideration. I think Kershaw has consistently shown in his young career that he is one of the best in baseball, but, I must say, his inability to deliver in the postseason gave me doubts as to whether he should have been awarded MVP when there are multiple players out there that have come through in the clutch.

Ultimately though, Kershaw got it. So here's the question.  Did Kershaw deserve the MVP? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments—do you think pitchers should be able to win the MVP award, or should it only apply to position players? Was there someone more worthy than Kershaw?  Let us know.

--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
Twitter:  @heylexyg

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