Price, Venters net Comeback Player Awards

November 20th, 2018

Left-handed pitchers of the Boston Red Sox and Jonny Venters of the Atlanta Braves have been named the recipients of the 2018 American League and National League Comeback Player of the Year Awards, respectively, Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday. The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are officially sanctioned by MLB and are presented annually to one player in each league who has re-emerged on the field during the season. The 30 club beat reporters from, the official website of Major League Baseball, selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per MLB club).

Limited by injury to just 16 games (11 starts) in 2017, Price returned to form in 2018, going 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA over 30 starts. In his third season with Boston, the five-time All-Star permitted 70 earned runs on 151 hits with 50 walks and 177 strikeouts in 176 innings. His 16 wins were tied for seventh best in the AL, and it marked the fifth time in his 11 Major League seasons in which he recorded at least 16 victories. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner led the Red Sox with 18 quality starts, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 18 of his starts, including one or no earned runs in 11 starts. In addition, Price made six scoreless starts of at least six innings, tied for third most in the AL behind only Cy Young Award finalists (9) and (8). From May 17-Sept. 26, Price yielded three earned runs or fewer in 13 consecutive home starts, marking the longest streak by a Red Sox pitcher since Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez in 2000-01 (18), and the longest by a Sox left-hander since Hall of Famer Babe Ruth in 1916 (16).

All-time Comeback Players of the Year:American League | National League

Following the All-Star break, the former No. 1 overall pick (2007) went 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA over 11 starts, permitting 17 earned runs over 68 innings. The 33-year-old native of Tennessee helped the Red Sox secure their fourth World Series title in 15 seasons with a stellar seven-inning performance in the clinching game of the Fall Classic at Dodger Stadium. Overall, the Vanderbilt product went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 10 2/3 innings during the ALCS vs. Houston, and was 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 13 2/3 innings in the World Series. Price is the third Red Sox player to win the award, joining (2011) and rotation-mate (2016).

Venters returned in 2018 after last appearing in a Major League game during the 2012 NL Wild Card Game. In the interim, the 33-year-old veteran underwent Tommy John surgery twice, which marked the second and third such procedures of his career. The 2011 NL All-Star went 5-2 on the season with three saves and a 3.67 ERA over 50 appearances. He began the season with the Tampa Bay Rays, going 1-1 with one save and a 3.86 ERA over 22 appearances. In 14 innings, he permitted six runs on 11 hits with six walks and 11 strikeouts. Venters, who pitched for Atlanta from 2010-12, was re-acquired by the Braves on July 26, returning to the franchise that drafted him in 2003.

In 28 games for the Braves, he went 4-1 with two saves and a 3.54 ERA. In 20 1/3 innings, he allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits with 10 walks and 16 strikeouts. Venters permitted a hit in just 20 of his 50 outings overall and allowed a run in just seven contests. The Florida native tossed a season-high 1 2/3 innings on May 18 at Angel Stadium, yielding a hit and walk with three strikeouts in the scoreless outing. Venters is the second Braves player to win the award, joining Tim Hudson (2010).