Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 7/11/12

11 APR 2009: Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) during the Detroit Tigers 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. Verlander would not get a decision pitching 5 innings while allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run. Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Getty Images


The All-Star Break is upon us, and until game action starts up again on Friday, we're going to do a brief season in review of the 2012 MLB season thusfar. Our staff has voted on a variety of awards, and we're going to roll them out over the next four days.

It's been a very interesting year for AL pitchers. There hasn't been a dominant force like last year, when Justin Verlander ruled the world. Verlander is still at the top of the heap for AL pitchers, but he's got some company with him this season. Voting was done in the same way as the Rookie of the Year awards, on a 3-2-1 basis.

AL Cy Young Award
1) Chris Sale (17 points, three first place votes)
2) Justin Verlander (16 points, four first place votes)
3) Jered Weaver (five points)
4) Jake Peavy (two points)
5) Felix Hernandez (two points)

We have a Keith Law situation here! "Verlander would have won the award, if the two Angels fans on staff didn't vote him third!" Deal with it. Chris Sale wins our midseason Cy Young award despite having fewer first place votes than Verlander. Sale is having a fantastic year after spending his first two years in Chicago's bullpen. His transition to the rotation has been very smooth, and the White Sox star has a fantastic 2.19 ERA and his striking out nearly a batter per inning, while walking a hair over two. He has a strikeout to walk rate of nearly 4, and is also allowing a batting average of just .197 for the season. In his 15 starts this year (excluding a one inning relief appearances), Sale is averaging a hair under seven innings per start this year. Not bad at all.

Justin Verlander is still awesome, and no one is arguing that at all. His 2012 season is shockingly similar to his 2011 season, down to an identical walk rate, strikeout and homer rates right around where they were last year, and an ERA in the same neighborhood as last year. Verlander is also averaging the same 7 1/3 innings per start. So what went wrong? Well...his Tigers are struggling, and Verlander is being punished for that, perhaps unfairly. Despite his stellar stats so far, Verlander is just 9-5, tallying the same amount of losses as he did last year. If the Tigers overtake the White Sox in the AL Central, Verlander will probably easily overtake Sale for the award.

Despite missing a couple of starts, Jered Weaver of the Angels is having another good year. He's 10-1 and has an ERA under 2.00 for the wild card leading Angels in 15 starts, but everything else is a little disappointing. His 6.80 strikeout rate is the lowest since his rookie year of 2007, but his walk and homer rates are also career bests. While Weaver is dominating, his stats indicate more of a 3.00 ERA pitcher this year...which is fantastic, but I don't think it'll be enough to give him the Cy Young.

Jake Peavy of the White Sox has been almost as big of a surprise as Sale. Peavy hasn't made 20 starts in a year since 2008 (his last full season as a Padre), and considering his contract, he's been a massive disappointment for the Sox thusfar in his career on the south side. Of course, this is a contract year for Peavy (with the White Sox holding a huge $22 million option for 2013), and he's dominating. Peavy has transformed himself, with his strikeout rate falling to 8.10 (well below his career norm of 8.79), but also dropping his walk rate to a career best 1.95. As a result, Peavy is having his best season in years, posting a 2.85 ERA and looking like the guy the White Sox thought they were acquiring back in 2009. Peavy is only 31, so it's not as if this is some sort of fluky, late-career renaissance.

Finally, Felix Hernandez, the 2010 Cy Young winner. There was actually talk last month about "what's wrong with Felix?!?!" Well, I think we can safely say right now that nothing is wrong with him. Despite a 3.13 ERA, Hernandez has a career best 2.96 FIP this year. He's striking out a batter per inning for the first time in his career, and his walk rate is actualy down by a hair. If Hernandez was playing in a big market for a great team, he'd be heralded as a future Hall of Famer. But in Seattle, he falls in anonymity. Hernandez is just 26 years-old, and he's thrown 1500 career innings with 1392 strikeouts and a 3.23 ERA, tallying 91 wins for a pathetic Mariners team. This guy is just unreal.


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Utah beats Michigan 24-17, ruins Jim Harbaugh’s debut

Patriots keep Tom Brady excitement close to vest

Wayne happy about Brady verdict: 'That's my quarterback'

Markieff Morris on Twitter: ‘My future will not be in Phoenix’

Jonathan Kraft on asking for draft picks: 'Never say never'

Redskins charge non-season ticket holders $50 to use will call


Arthur Blank on Roger Goodell: ‘Change may be appropriate’

Belichick gives typical reply to question about Brady's freedom

Goodell not attending season opener at Gillette Stadium

Jakub Voracek will donate $1,000 for every point he scores

Dwayne Bowe reportedly in danger of being cut by Browns

Slava Voynov taken into custody by U.S Immigration

Tim Tebow shines in Eagles’ final preseason game

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Trevone Boykin’s Heisman bid off to rocky start against Minnesota

Michigan lost their opener, but showed signs of improvement

Aaron Rodgers on Brady ruling: ‘It’s a good day for the players’

Jim Harbaugh uses Seahawks play card and Seattle loves it

First drive of Jim Harbaugh Era in Michigan ends in interception

Redskins fan who named son after RG3: ‘I don’t regret it at all’

Freshmen to watch in Week 1 of college football

Early returns on Manny Machado, MLB shortstop

Judge Berman offered free coffee for life

Conor McGregor insults Jose Aldo, plans move to lightweight

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker