Found September 10, 2013 on
Baseball News Source:
While the field is certainly competitive in the National League, the battle for the National League Most Valuable Player Award has realistically come down to two men, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and St. Louis’ Yadier Molina.
While McCutchen has helped lead the Pirates to their first winning season since 1992 and Molina has helped successfully guide an injury-riddled pitching staff, the field behind them has slowly drifted into the distance.
The following is a list of the Top 5 players who should be considered for the distinction of being named the National League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season.
Rankings are based on the individual performance of the player in relation to his competition and team performance skill level, relative skill level, and his value to his team compared to those across the league.
Although only five players are ranked in this respective list, that is not to discount the fact that a number of other players have enjoyed much success this season, but have not quite demonstrated the criterion representative of a definitive MVP caliber season, particularly in a season that has witnessed the likes of Andrew McCutchen and Yadier Molina.
The Cincinnati Reds are within two games of the NL Central division lead and leading the way for that club is the hot-hitting Joey Votto. Although his power numbers are down from previous seasons, the 2010 NL MVP has consistently found a way to get on base this season. He leads the league with 116 walks and an OBP of .430, while ranking third in both runs (92) and OPS (.924).
Clayton Kershaw has turned in a phenomenal season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, leading the league in ERA, ERA+, WHIP, IP, and strikeouts, all gaudy numbers in their own right. While he did not quite make the cut in our Top 5, Kershaw is a virtual lock for his second Cy Young Award.
Without further adieu, here are the Top 5 players who should be considered the front-runners for the National League Most Valuable Player Award with less than one month remaining in the 2013 season.
BEST OF MAXIM
Charlie Morton will throw a bullpen on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Two key injury updates today from various writers on Twitter (Michael Sanserino, Rob Biertempfel, Tom Singer):
**Charlie Morton exited last night’s game with a left foot injury. Morton went back to Pittsburgh to get the foot evaluated. The good news is that it doesn’t seem to be too serious, as Morton...
(Follow me on Twitter @jim_krug; opening image credit idahostatesman)
1. This could be the sweep that locks in a playoff spot for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and saves their September. After being swept and knocked out of first place by the St. Louis Cardinals- and heading to Arlington with a slumping rotation to face a high-powered Texas Rangers’ offense- the potential was easily...
James McDonald (Courtesy of CBS Sports)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated James McDonald from the 60-day disabled list and designated him for assignment on Saturday.
The Dodgers selected McDonald in the eleventh round of the 2002 draft, and he ascended through the team’s minor league system and made his major league debut in 2008. He was used primarily as a reliever throughout...
The Pirates picked up win no. 82 on Monday, another stepping stone toward a playoff berth that’s becoming more and more likely with each passing day. On the morning of Sept. 11, everything looks pretty good at the moment as indicated by the current NL Central standings.
St. Louis Cardinals: 84-60, 99.8 percent playoff odds
Pittsburgh Pirates: 83-61, 99.1 percent playoff odds
Tyler Glasnow is the Pirates Prospects 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. (Photo Credit: Tom Bragg)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed a large focus on pitching in recent years, either through the draft, international markets, or in the free agent bargain bin. For that reason, you’d expect a lot of competition each year for the top performing pitcher in the system. There were...
Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates won their 82nd game of the 2013 season, a remarkable accomplishment for a franchise that hasn't sniffed .500 since George H.W. Bush was our president and I had a Commodore 64. In a 162-game season, 81 wins got the team to .500-at-worst...82 takes the Buccos over the hump and into "winning season" territory. THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING...
24-year-old outfielder Starling Marte has been activated from the disabled list. He had been dealing with a contusion on his right hand, suffered on August 10th against the Rockies when he was hit by Josh Outman. Marte continued to play for the next week before needing to be officially sidelined.
#Pirates have activated Starling Marte off the DL
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib...
The Pirates are now underdogs in the NL Central after being swept by St. Louis over the weekend. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
So it turns out being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals hurts your chances of winning the National League Central division.
The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped all three games at Busch Stadium this weekend, by a margin of 26-10, to move from odds-on division favorite...
We told you it would happen – and it happened.
In dramatic fashion, the Pirates went into Texas where they had previously never won a game and beat Yu Darvish 1-0 on a Pedro Alvarez double. When Mark Melancon induced a ground ball to second baseman Neil Walker, it ended 21 long years of futility.
Gerrit Cole threw a gem of a game and the possibly MVP Andrew McCutchen had two hits...
Let me offer a belated congratulations to the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans. On Monday, the Pirates won their 82nd game of the season behind a strong seven inning effort by Gerrit Cole. This marked the first time in 21 seasons that the Pirates will finish with a record above .500. To put that in perspective, let’s consider the list of events that have occurred during that time...
Had Clint Barmes been standing a couple feet to his right the Pirates might have had more than a two-run victory.
Then again had Barmes' high fly ball sailed a couple feet left the Pirates might not have left the Lone Star State with a sweep.
Barmes clanked a home run off the left-field foul pole in the eighth inning and drove in two runs Wednesday afternoon to help the Pirates...
It’s been a long time since the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season. A well-documented long time. My daughter is a junior in college, and...
Pirates (82-61) at Rangers (81-62)
8:05 PM–Rangers Ballpark, Arlington
The Streak is now in the rear view mirror. Tonight the Pittsburgh Pirates will take the field as a winning baseball club focused on getting to the playoffs and winning their division.
With 19 games left, things are certainly looking up a bit more than they were on Sunday night. The Pirates...
The Pirates have relied most of this season on a shutdown bullpen to make up for a lackluster offense. Those roles were reversed Tuesday night.
The offense built a big enough lead to protect against a shaky bullpen as the Pirates held on to beat Texas 5-4 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The Pirates led by as many as four runs in the game but needed reliever Mark Melancon to strike...
82 wins. Our long national nightmare is over. And what a job by Gerrit Cole last night. Throwing the team and the city on his back and doing everything he could to win that game. I hate to say the Pirates need this series but we’re under 20 games. The Pirates have a ton of…