Molina, Waino, Miller finalists for BBWAA Awards
Catcher up for NL MVP, ace vying for Cy Young, young hurler going for Rookie of Year
ST. LOUIS -- During a one-hour MLB Network special on Tuesday, the Cardinals' Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller were revealed as finalists for the Baseball Writers' Association of America end-of-the-season awards.
The BBWAA announced three finalists for each of its four league-specific awards: Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year. Mike Matheny, who led the Cardinals to a National League-most 97 wins, had a case for Manager of the Year consideration, but did not finish as a finalist in the voting.
The Cards placed someone in the top three for each of the other awards.
Molina is poised to improve on his 2012 fourth-place finish in the NL MVP voting after another standout season behind and at the plate. Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt were also named as finalists for the award.
Molina hit a career-best .319 with 80 RBIs and 44 doubles, the most by a catcher since Ivan Rodriguez had 47 doubles in 1996. When looking at Molina's value to his club, it also cannot be ignored what he did behind the plate while guiding a relatively young pitching staff. Molina recently received his sixth straight NL Gold Glove Award, and he is widely considered to be the game's most complete catcher.
In his second year back from Tommy John surgery, Wainwright returned to pre-surgery form and is again a top finisher for the NL Cy Young Award. He led the NL with 19 wins, 241 2/3 innings pitched, five complete games and two shutouts. Wainwright did not walk a batter until his fifth start of the year, and he finished with only 35 free passes in 34 starts. He struck out a career-most 219.
Wainwright was a top-three finisher in the Cy Young Award voting in 2009 and '10. Also finalists for this year's award are Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Jose Fernandez of the Marlins. Kershaw led the league in strikeouts and had an NL-low 1.83 ERA.
Miller, along with Fernandez and Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig, were named as finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year Award, an honor no Cardinals player has won since Albert Pujols in 2001. Of the three top finishers, only Miller played in the Majors from the start of the season until the end. Puig did not arrive until June, while Fernandez was shut down in early September due to workload concerns.
Miller led all rookies with 15 wins, and he posted a 3.06 ERA in 33 starts. The former first-round Draft pick struck out 169 in 173 1/3 innings.
The BBWAA will announce its award winners next week -- Rookie of the Year on Nov. 11, Manager of the Year on Nov. 12, Cy Young Award on Nov. 13 and MVP Award on Nov. 14.