You can’t deny what Johan Santana is doing for the Twins right now and anyone who says he isn’t the frontrunner for the American League Cy Young Award right now would be kidding themselves. That being said, Roy Halladay will still get some serious votes for his season with Toronto.
Consider the comparison:
Santana: 18-5, 2.77 ERA, 32 GS, 1 CG, 220.2 IP, 44 BB, 237 K
Halladay: 16-5, 3.20 ERA, 31 GS, 4 CG, 216.2, 33 BB, 131 K
One thing to consider, too, is the production since the All-Star break. Santana has gone 9-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 13 starts since the break, where as Halladay has gone 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 13 starts during that same span. Granted, Halladay’s run support hasn’t been nearly the same as it was during his 12-2 first-half showing, but Santana has helped carry the Twins right back into the middle of the playoff hunt.
Halladay will still get heavy consideration, though. One thing people point to is the fact that Santana leads the "Triple Crown" categories of wins, ERA, and strikeouts. You have to keep in mind that Halladay is less of a strikeout pitcher now, though.
His philosophy has shifted to getting quick outs and only using the strikeout as a weapon in necessary situations. You can see this in his statistics, too. Halladay leads all American League starters in fewest pitches per inning (13.86) and his 347 groundouts rank second only to Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang. Those are figures that HAVE to be considered when breaking down Doc’s numbers in comparison to Santana — though Santana isn’t a ground-ball pitcher.
Another thing that I tend to look at (which some people to agree with me about) is Halladay’s place on Toronto’s staff. Some argue that the Cy Young Award is strictly an individual award and only numbers should be the basis of the voting. I believe that you need to look at the whole picture. Considering all the issues and injuries the Blue Jays’ rotation has seen this year, Halladay has really held the staff together — this from a guy who missed a lot of time over the last two seasons due to injury.
Anyway, that’s my brief take on Halladay’s chances at picking up his second Cy Young Award. I think he’d have a better shot of winning the Comeback Player Award, except for the fact that he’s not a candidate.
As if that wasn’t enough to stir some discussion, here are my current picks for the American League and National League awards, if the season were to end today:
AL MVP: David Ortiz, BOS
AL Cy Young: Johan Santana, MIN
AL Rookie: Justin Verlander, DET
AL Manager: Jim Leyland, DET
NL MVP: Ryan Howard, PHI
NL CY Young: Brandon Webb, ARI
NL Rookie: Dan Uggla, FLA
NL Manager: Joe Girardi, FLA
I’m sure I’ll offer my thoughts again when the season ends. We’ll see if any of my picks change…