AL, NL Reliever of the Year finalists revealed
Diaz, Treinen, Kimbrel in AL; Hader, Jansen, Davis in NL
The Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, both presented by The Hartford, are scheduled to be presented Oct. 27 at Game 4 of the 114th World Series.
From now until 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 26 -- the date for World Series Game 3 -- you can submit a pair of names at MLB.com to determine who the fans believe should be the winners. Balloting for the awards will be conducted among a panel of eight all-time great relievers. Rivera and Hoffman, both of whom spent their entire careers in one league en route to the top of the all-time saves list, are joined by three Hall of Fame relievers -- Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter -- as well as Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner. The panel includes the six all-time saves leaders who are no longer active players.
• Submit your choices for Relievers of the Year
The eight voters rank the top three AL relief pitchers and the top three NL relief pitchers based solely on regular-season performance and using a 5-3-1 weighted point system. Commissioner Rob Manfred and an executive from The Hartford typically present the honors along with the awards' namesake closers.
This has become a tradition during each Fall Classic, as these Reliever of the Year Awards in 2014 replaced the Delivery Man of the Year Award, which had been presented to one winner from 2005-13. The awards continue a longstanding baseball tradition of honoring the game's top bullpen arms. Here's a look at this year's top contenders:
Edwin Diaz, Mariners: Diaz threatened the all-time single-season mark for saves (62 by Francisco Rodriguez in 2008), finishing with 57 on the season for the Mariners. That tied Bobby Thigpen (1990 White Sox) for the second-highest single-season save total in MLB history. Overall, Diaz posted a 1.96 ERA in 73 appearances, striking out 124 of the 280 batters he faced (44.3 percent).
Blake Treinen, Athletics: Treinen was a revelation for the upstart A's, who shocked the baseball world by winning 97 games and reaching the postseason. The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 0.78 ERA with 38 saves for Oakland, fanning 100 of the 315 batters he faced (31.8 percent), while walking just 21.
Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox: Kimbrel was once again excellent for the 108-win Red Sox, being named an All-Star for the seventh time in his nine-year career. He posted a 2.74 ERA with 42 saves and struck out 96 of the 247 batters he faced (38.9 percent). He won the Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award last year, and the Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award in 2014 while with the Braves.
Josh Hader, Brewers: Hader was one of the most dominant relievers in the NL during the 2018 season, as part of an elite Brewers bullpen that helped Milwaukee win the NL Central for the first time since 2011. The 24-year-old left-hander finished with a 2.43 ERA in 55 appearances, striking out nearly half of the batters he faced (46.7 percent). He also set an expansion-era MLB record by fanning 16 consecutive batters over five appearances in September. His 143 strikeouts are also a single-season record for a left-handed reliever.
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers: Jansen has become a perennial candidate for the Reliever of the Year Award, and 2018 was no exception. The 31-year-old right-hander battled some health issues toward the end of the season, but still posted a 3.01 ERA with 38 saves for the NL West champion Dodgers. He has won the last two Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Awards.
Wade Davis, Rockies: In his first season with the Rockies, Davis had some ups and downs, but still led the NL with 43 saves. Though his ERA was 4.13, his FIP was 3.65 and his WHIP was 1.06, as he continued to demonstrate why he is one of the game's best closers.