The Phillies have played just over 1/4 of their games. So, we give out the awards for what has gone down thus far.
MVP AWARD: Carlos Ruiz
-This is an easy one. Chooch has been phenomenal from the minute the season began. In spring training, he knew he would have to take on a larger role within the offense. No way he – or anyone else for that matter – thought he’d be this good, right? Chooch has been the saving grace for this offense. Over the last month, Ruiz has a 1.132 OPS and has been moved up to fifth in the order. Thank the Lord for Chooch.
CY YOUNG AWARD: Cole Hamels
-Jonathan Papelbon certainly deserves a look too, but he only pitches one inning at a time. So the award goes to Cole, and rightfully so. Hamels is tied for the league lead in wins with six and ranks high in pretty much every other category. He has been the horse this season. Not that Halladay and Lee haven’t been good, it’s just that Hamels has been excellent.
GUY YOU WEREN’T SURE ABOUT AND STILL AREN’T SURE ABOUT BUT ARE HAVING FUN WATCHING AWARD: Freddy Galvis
-Galvis can play the field. He’s one of the smoothest son-of-a-guns on a diamond this team has seen in a while. Like a young Young James. But, we’re still not sure about his bat. Galvis has had some really big hits, but he’s also looked completely over matched. Either way, it’s been cool watching him make it in the majors.
GUY YOU THOUGHT COULD REALLY BREAK OUT BUT HASN’T AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHY AWARD: John Mayberry Jr.
-Really thought JMJ could be a legit 20-home run threat with the right amount of at-bats. Through May 22, he only has one. I can’t pinpoint the issue, but he just hasn’t looked like the Mayberry of late last season. That’s a damn shame, too. I was looking forward to that breakout and so far, it hasn’t come.
BEST THING ABOUT CITIZENS BANK PARK IN 2012 AWARD: The sellout streak continuing
-No matter how it happens, the Phillies continue to sell tickets. Ranking paid attendance, the Phillies are by far number one in baseball.
WORST THING ABOUT CITIZENS BANK PARK in 2012 AWARD: The sellout streak continuing
-Yes, all the tickets are sold, but not everyone is showing up. Most of the games have been roughly 75-90 percent full in my estimation. The bigger games have had a packed house, but for the most part it’s been empty right up until game time and then slowly filling in. Phillies fans needs to step it up and pack the house no matter what.
BEST OF THE BULLPEN AWARD: Antonio Bastardo
-We’re excluding Jonathan Papelbon. We know he’s been good. Tony has really turned it around after a rough start. His velocity is not the same as in 2011, but that’s hardly mattered. Over 12 1/3 innings, Bastardo has walked a few too many (7) but has made up for that with 14 strikeouts and just five hits allowed. They’ve needed him to continue his strong progression and he has.
WORST OF THE BULLPEN AWARD: Chad Qualls
-When you sign guys that have pitched in the most games in the last seven years, you might be playing with fire. The Phillies clearly are with Qualls. Do I think he’ll be this bad all year? Absolutely not. I think Chad Qualls will end up being OK. But through the first month-plus, it’s been a while ride in the eighth (and ninth, occasionally) that no one really wants to be a part of. Qualls has given up a bunch of games on his own, never a good sign when your pen as a whole is looking for guys to step up.
-A lot of people asked about both of these guys during spring and thought both should make it. Well, here they are. Diekman had one rough outing, but looks like he definitely has the stuff to stick around in the major leagues. Luna provides some pop off the bench – huge grand slam in Chicago was awesome – and can play multiple positions. They aren’t the sexiest names, but they’ve made an impression.
MOST FRUSTRATING PHILLIE AWARD: Hunter Pence
-Maybe I’m nitpicking here, but Pence is more frustrating to watch than Jimmy Rollins, who also could have taken home this award. His plate discipline sometimes makes you want to rip your eyes out of your head. He should be hitting for a higher average, but can’t seem to slow down at the plate. It’s not hard to love his intensity, but that can often times be a detriment.
SCREW THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP AWARD: Vance Worley
-Worley told me he has used the chatter that he would fall back to earth as motivation. The Vanimal hardly needs it. He’s had a great second season, making this rotation as a whole, one of the best in baseball – if not THE best. He’ll have to pitch through elbow pain for the remainder of the season, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Vanimal.