Phenom Fernandez up for several GIBBY Awards
Fans can also vote to honor Alvarez's no-hitter, Hechavarria's great play
MIAMI -- The 2013 season certainly wasn't the greatest in Marlins history, but that doesn't mean the campaign lacked some memorable moments and accomplishments. A number of Miami's achievements are being recognized by MLB.com in the annual Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBY).
The Marlins may have finished with 100 losses, but they also had their share of headline performances.
Jose Fernandez, an All-Star in his sensational rookie season, gained national attention. He's a serious National League Rookie of the Year Award candidate, and the 21-year-old also is up for several GIBBY honors.
Henderson Alvarez, who made history on the final game of the season by no-hitting the Tigers, also is up for a GIBBY, as is slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Miami has eight nominations in seven categories.
Fernandez heads the list by being listed in three categories -- Starting Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Pitching Performance of the Year. In Pitching Performance of the Year, Fernandez has competition from his close friend and teammate Alvarez, who tossed his unconventional no-hitter in walk-off fashion.
The Marlins also are in consideration for Play of the Year, Oddity of the Year, Walk-off of the Year, and Cut4 Topic of the Year.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2013 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 22 categories.
Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
Fernandez enjoyed perhaps the greatest rookie season by a pitcher in franchise history. The right-hander, who entered the year not having pitched above Class A ball, posted a 12-6 record with a 2.19 ERA. His 187 strikeouts established a team rookie record. The Marlins went 18-10 in his 28 starts.
"To think he was going to start the season in Double-A, and for him to have a chance to be Rookie of the Year, none of us would have predicted that," manager Mike Redmond said at the end of the season.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
Fernandez is in contention for top pitching performance for his franchise-rookie-record 14 strikeouts in eight shutout innings against the Indians on Aug. 2. As dominating as Fernandez was in limiting the Indians to three hits on that day, he may not have had the best pitching performance by a Marlins player this season.
Alvarez's no-hitter is a game Marlins fans will remember.
Several factors make it historic. It occurred on the last game of the season, and the right-hander wasn't able to celebrate on the mound. Because the game was scoreless, Alvarez first threw nine hitless and scoreless innings, then was on deck with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth when the decisive run raced home on a wild pitch. As Giancarlo Stanton crossed home plate, the Marlins secured a 1-0 win, and in walk-off style, Alvarez was mobbed by his teammates near home plate.
"I've never seen it where we got a walk-off win and we're mauling the pitcher instead of the guy who got the hit or scored the run," teammate Logan Morrison said after that game.
The dramatic way in which the no-hitter was preserved is also a nominee for the GIBBY in the walk-off category.
In the past five years, fans have cast more than 50 million votes across the various GIBBY categories, none of which was restricted to individual League affiliation. Fan voting runs through Dec. 1.
Hechavarria is up for a defensive award after he robbed the Phillies' Cody Asche of a hit with a leaping grab on Sept. 18, in Philadelphia.
Hechavarria also was involved in the play that is up for the GIBBY oddity award tagged "Who's on third?" Against the Nationals at Washington on Aug. 28, Hechavarria was at the plate while Morrison was on third and Donovan Solano was on first.
Hechavarria bounced to third, and Morrison headed home, but so did the throw. Morrison retreated to third as Solano also was racing from first to third. Ian Desmond covered third for the Nationals as two Marlins approached from different angles. In a bang-bang play you don't see often, Desmond tagged Morrison out and then quickly tagged Solano, who barely was safe.
The GIBBY Awards cover the full gameday experience, and include what goes on before the first pitch is thrown. Miami's Cut4 topic is titled "Smackdown at the stadium."
On Legends of Wrestling Night at Marlins Park, former WCW champion Bill Goldberg took down a fellow wrestler during the ceremonial first pitch.
Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.