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Qualls likes idea of award for relievers

Special to MLB.com

TORONTO -- It's tough for relievers, who have much smaller workloads than starting pitchers, to claim hardware at the end of the season -- such as the Cy Young Award or MVP -- which is why Houston's Chad Qualls is excited about the announcement that Major League Baseball will begin honoring each league's top reliever with a new award.

The awards will be named after two former greats in Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, and will replace MLB's Delivery Man of the Year Award, which went to the top reliever in baseball. Qualls believes the change will put more spotlight on relief pitchers, who don't get as much attention as their fellow teammates come award season.

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TORONTO -- It's tough for relievers, who have much smaller workloads than starting pitchers, to claim hardware at the end of the season -- such as the Cy Young Award or MVP -- which is why Houston's Chad Qualls is excited about the announcement that Major League Baseball will begin honoring each league's top reliever with a new award.

The awards will be named after two former greats in Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, and will replace MLB's Delivery Man of the Year Award, which went to the top reliever in baseball. Qualls believes the change will put more spotlight on relief pitchers, who don't get as much attention as their fellow teammates come award season.

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"It's pretty cool, the game has evolved with more use of the bullpen," Qualls said.

Qualls feels MLB chose the right guys to name the awards after, too.

"Mariano is one of the best closers to ever throw," he said. "Those guys did it for a long time and the number of games they shut down, and the numbers they attained, is hard to even think of."

Along with Rivera and Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner will vote on the awards.

The nine voters will rank the top three pitchers in each league based solely on regular-season performance, and each of their ballots will use a 5-3-1 weighted point system.

Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com.

 

Houston Astros, Chad Qualls