Some are debating the decision, saying Rick Porcello or Elvis Andrus deserved the award more, but this morning, Athletics reliever Andrew Bailey was named AL Rookie of the Year. Many would argue that Porcello had more of an impact for a contending team. Some would also argue that Andrus deserved it for playing shortstop every day for a team that made a run at the postseason. Amid all these facts, no one can really say anything to take away from what Bailey’s done. Last year at this time, Bailey was buried in the A’s minor league system. He spent the year in AA-Midland, getting roughed up as a starter. This year, he made the change to reliever, and was expected to start the season in AAA-Sacramento. Well, Bailey never arrived. Instead, he overcame longshot odds to win a spot on the big league roster. A month or so later, he was named the A’s closer and his job security never wavered all season long.
In July, he made the all-star team. Obviously that has a lot to do with Oakland not having a clear all-star. I would’ve named Kurt Suzuki, but that’s just me. At any rate, as we look back at Bailey’s final numbers for the season, it only proves he did deserve to be an all-star. After all, he finished with the second best ERA, behind only the immortal Mariano Rivera, and firmly one spot ahead of Jonathan Papelbon. All this while throwing 15+ innings more than either of them, compiling a 91-24 K:BB ratio, and rattling off 21 straight converted saves to finish the season. I could throw more numbers out, but the point is that Bailey deserved the award. Perhaps in any of the previous four seasons, he doesn’t win it, but this year he was the best. The only knock on him I’ve heard is the fact that he plays for a poor team. If he were an offensive player, I might agree with that, but as a closer, you’re not facing your own team, you’re facing the Angels, and the Rangers, among others. All this really says is if he played for a different team, he would’ve had even MORE saves. Congratulations Andrew. I would say it’s too bad we never got to work together in Sacramento, but obviously things worked out better by jumping straight to Oakland. Besides, let’s be honest, Bailey wasn’t even a top prospect before this season anyway.