Mariners notes: Servais finishes 6th in Manager of the Year voting
No new Mariners trades to report, but a few news items and notes of interest from a rainy Tuesday afternoon:
• I don’t believe first-year manager Scott Servais was favored in any way to win the American League Manager of the Year award, but I am a little surprised that a 10-win swing and meaningful baseball up until the final weekend did not earn him more recognition. Servais received one third-place vote – from local Associated Press writer Tim Booth – for the award from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, putting him in sixth place. Here was the final voting:
1. Terry Francona, Indians
2. Jeff Banister, Rangers
3. Buck Showalter, Orioles
4. John Farrell, Red Sox
5. Joe Girardi, Yankees
6. Scott Servais, Mariners
AL cities receive two ballots for each BBWAA award. Dodgers rookie manager Dave Roberts won the National League Award.
• The schedule for the 2017 World Baseball Classic has been announced. The tournament schedule will begin on March 6 and conclude with the championship game in Los Angeles on March 22. The Mariners expect to have several players from the organization participate, including Felix Hernandez, who will get a short tuneup in winter ball to help get ready. In years past, players participating in the WBC have reported to spring training earlier than in non-tournament years. I would expect reporting dates to be announced soon. More information on the WBC, including brackets and how to get tickets, can be found at worldbaseballclassic.com.
• The Arizona Fall League wraps up this weekend. Outfielder Tyler O’Neill has posted a .304/.385/.507 split-line, with eight walks and 21 strikeouts in 69 at-bats. On the pitching side, there are a couple of names to keep an eye on in 2017. Dylan Unsworth, who had not pitched since June 7 because of a hamstring strain, has gone 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA, walking two and striking out 14. Thyago Vieira, whose fastball was clocked at 104 mph in Arizona, has allowed two earned runs in five relief appearances. He has limited opponents to a .211 batting average (4 for 19), while walking one and striking out seven.
• In case you missed it, only two players – Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and Mets second baseman Neil Walker – accepted qualifying offers from their respective teams. That leaves Yoenis Cespedes, Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler as players that will cost interested teams a first- or second-round pick to sign in free agency.