Flaherty will go up against the Majors' best for one of five starting pitching spots on the 2019 All-MLB Team -- a new award that covers the full breadth of the 162-game season and does not separate players by league, like the All-Star Game does. Flaherty is the Cardinals’ only nominee.
The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team runs through 4 p.m. CT today, with 50 percent of the vote coming from fans and 50 percent coming from a panel of experts. You may vote once every 24 hours between now and when voting ends. The inaugural All-MLB Team will be announced on Dec. 10 at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in San Diego.
There will be a first team and second team All-MLB, and voters are asked only to consider performance during the regular season when casting their ballots. Each team will include one selection at each position (including designated hitter and three outfielders, regardless of specific outfield position), five starting pitchers and two relievers.
Flaherty posted a 0.91 ERA in the second half, completely turning around his season after a 4.64 ERA before the All-Star break. The 24-year-old right-hander registered the second-lowest second-half ERA since 1933 (minimum 70 innings pitched), behind Jake Arrieta's 0.79 mark in 2015 that helped propel him to an NL Cy Young Award.
Overall in his second full season in the Majors, Flaherty went 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 33 starts. He struck out 231 batters over 196 1/3 innings with an NL-tying-low 0.97 WHIP. He earned NL Pitcher of the Month honors in August (0.71 ERA) and September (0.82 ERA) -- not long after posting a 7.01 ERA in June. He began to figure things out on the Cardinals’ West Coast trip in July. In his final start before the All-Star break, he held the Giants to two hits and one run over seven innings. Flaherty gave up 20 home runs in the first half compared to five in the second.
On Closing Day, Flaherty helped clinch the Cardinals’ NL Central title by allowing just two hits over seven scoreless innings against the Cubs.
“I think when you break everything down and you look at it, everyone has their ups and downs of the season,” Flaherty said back in early September. “It just happens at different times for everybody. But being able to realize why you’re there and why you’re having that down and what you need to change to get back to those good things, figuring out why things are going on and why you’re at that place, I’d walk away from a start and look at one or two pitches here and there. It wasn’t like I’d come out and be all over the place. It would really be, get down, get some guys on in a big spot and one or two pitches here and there.”