Dodgers’ National League MVP votes split after 2013 success.

A 92-win season and a division title usually begets an MVP candidate. Or four.

For the Dodgers — a team of several superstars and, this year, several superstars with injuries — the National League MVP votes were more fractured than Hanley Ramirez‘s rib.

Clayton Kershaw, who won the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday finished seventh in the MVP race with 146 points. Ramirez followed in a distant eighth, with 58 points. Yasiel Puig (15th) and Adrian Gonzalez (19th) were the only other Dodgers listed on ballots.

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won the award, handily outdistancing runner-up Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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Clayton Kershaw wins the National League Cy Young Award. How they voted.

Clayton Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award today. Please click here to read my full story on the inevitable — but not unanimous — honor.

Not included in that story are how the final votes added up, and where they came from. Here’s the final points tally, courtesy of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America:
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Don Mattingly confirms he and Dodgers are discussing new contract, finishes second in Manager of the Year vote.

 

Don Mattingly

Don Mattingly finished second in National League Manager of the Year voting. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

Don Mattingly took advantage of his 15 minutes of fame Tuesday to confirm that he and the Dodgers are discussing a new contract.

“We’re in talks right now and things are going good,” Mattingly told the MLB Network. He added that there is no rush to complete a deal.

Talks began shortly after Mattingly said in an awkward season-ending press conference that he didn’t want to return in 2014 on a one-year contract. His current contract expires after next season.

The occasion of the interview was somewhat bittersweet. Mattingly was on television just before the National League Manager of the Year announcement. That award went to Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle, who collected 25 of the 30 first-place votes.

Mattingly finished second, with two first-place votes, 17 second-place votes, and seven third-place votes. Hurdle was listed second on five ballots. Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez finished third and St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny fourth.
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Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig finishes second to Jose Fernandez in Rookie of the Year balloting, Hyun-Jin Ryu fourth.

Yasiel PuigThe Baseball Writers’ Association of America chose Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez as its Rookie of the Year, edging second-place finisher Yasiel Puig in the final balloting by collecting 26 of 30 first-place votes. Puig was chosen first on the other four ballots.

Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu finished fourth, collecting 10 third-place votes.

Fernandez went 12-6 with a 2.19 earned-run average in his first major-league season. The 21-year-old native of Cuba had never pitched above Single-A prior to last season, but only improved as the 2013 campaign rolled along. He posted a 1.32 ERA after the All-Star break, with 84 strikeouts in 68 innings.

For the season, Fernandez led the majors in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.8). Only eight pitchers had a higher Wins Above Replacement in their first major-league season than Fernandez’s 6.3, according to baseball-reference.com’s version of the statistic.

Fernandez was named to the National League All-Star team in July, another honor that fell just outside Puig’s grasp as he raced off to a blistering start following his June 3 call-up from Double-A Chattanooga.

Puig’s batting average didn’t dip below .400 until his 35th game. He finished with a .319/.391/.534 slash line, with 19 home runs, 42 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 19 attempts. Beyond his numbers, Puig re-energized the Dodgers in the midst of a June swoon, pushing the team to first place in the National League West and an eventual six-game loss in the NL Championship Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Todd Hollandsworth was the last Dodgers player to win the Rookie of the Year award, in 1996.

Here was the final vote count:
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Daily Distractions: IBWAA announces its end-of-season awards finalists.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu (center) was honored at an awards gala in Korea yesterday. Lots of awards these days. (Photo by Jun Park/Asia Society)


The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America was founded here, in the awards capital of the world, so naturally the IBWAA gives out awards at the end of the season. This year there are “finalists” too, just like the BBWAA has “finalists” who really represent the top vote-getters in each category.

The IBWAA has more categories, and more Dodgers, than the BBWAA awards. Clayton Kershaw (National League Cy Young), Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu (NL rookie of the year), Don Mattingly (NL manager of the year), and Kenley Jansen (best NL reliever) are all in the running for the virtual awards.

Jose Fernandez and Adam Wainwright are the other Cy Young finalists, same as the BBWAA awards. Fernandez is the other rookie of the year finalist. Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel are the other finalists for best reliever. Fredi Gonzalez and Clint Hurdle are other manager of the year finalists, (same as the BBWAA.

Winners will be announced as follows:

Relief Pitcher, Friday, November 8, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Rookie, Monday, November 11, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Manager, Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Cy Young, Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
MVP, Thursday, November 14, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Some bullet points for a Thursday afternoon:

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Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke collects Silver Slugger award.

Zack GreinkeDodgers pitcher Zack Greinke was chosen as the winner of the Silver Slugger Award at his position Wednesday.

Greinke led qualifying MLB pitchers with a .328 batting average, 19 hits and a .409 on-base percentage, and tied for the MLB lead with two stolen bases. Along with Clayton Kershaw, Greinke was one of two Dodgers pitchers who was used as a pinch-hitter by manager Don Mattingly this season. Greinke walked in his only pinch-hit appearance.

Orel Hershiser in 1993 was the last Dodgers pitcher to win the award, which has been given out every year since 1980. Fernando Valenzuela (1981, 1983) and Tim Leary (1988) are the others.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis chimed in with his support on Twitter:

Yasiel Puig, Don Mattingly, Clayton Kershaw are finalists for BBWAA awards.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw won the 2011 National League Cy Young Award and is the favorite for the award again. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers have three finalists for the annual year-end Baseball Writers Association of America awards.
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Clayton Kershaw wins Players’ Choice Award for National League’s Outstanding Pitcher.

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw was named the National League’s Outstanding Pitcher at the Players’ Choice Awards on Monday.

Kershaw was also nominated for MLB Player of the Year, which was given to Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera for the second straight year.

Balloting was conducted among major league players in mid-September. The winners designated charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation created and run by the players themselves.

Kershaw went 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA, leading the major leagues in earned-run average for the third consecutive year. He was named an All-Star in June and finished with a National League-leading 232 strikeouts in 236 innings, a career high.

The Dodgers and Kershaw are in the process of negotiating a long-term contract extension. He is currently set to become a free agent after the 2014 season.

Daily Distractions: On the traveling advance scout, a species facing extinction.

Sorry for the delay here. I spent the morning critiquing my college newspaper. I tried to lift their spirits, since any of them intending to pursue journalism professionally are in danger of being crushed upon receiving their first paycheck. There’s a time and a place for everything.

That segues clumsily into my topic for today, advance scouts.

I was surprised to learn that the Dodgers had only one advance scout listed in their 2013 media guide, Wade Taylor, and he was let go last week. Many members of the front office do some advance scouting from time to time, but indeed, there’s only one major-league advance scout assigned to the task full-time, working mostly on the road.

“For the postseason, we have an army of scouts,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said. “We have two or three guys on each of the possible teams we could meet in October, in September. Regular season, there’s one principal one. Teams are going away from advance scouts, doing it via video.”

A small sampling of major-league teams affirms this trend. For convenience’s sake, let’s look at the other four National League West teams. All have exactly one advance scout listed in their media guide. Two have at least one assistant dedicated to advance scouting via video. Like the Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants deployed a similar “army” of scouts during their playoff push in September 2012.

The Dodgers aren’t expected to be adding more than one advance scout this off-season. Thanks to video, the full-time traveling advance scout is something of a dying breed, a department of one from April to August.

Maybe if his team is contending in September, the advance scout has help — a time and a place for everything.

Some bullet points for a Wednesday:
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Daily Distractions: About the newfangled sabermetric Gold Glove Award component, and which Dodger it helps.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is one of five Dodgers nominated for Gold Glove Awards. (Associated Press photo)

At 320 pages, the most recent edition of The Fielding Bible is shorter than most editions of the more famous Bible, but still rather long for a topic that’s proved difficult to qualify and quantify over the years. There’s no Cliffs Notes version of the Fielding Bible, but I’ll recommend this excerpt that claims Matt Kemp shouldn’t have won a Gold Glove Award in 2011. Whether you agree with the conclusion or not, the thought process behind the conclusion is very insightful.

Today is a big day for fielding. THE big day. The Gold Glove award winners will be revealed at 5 p.m. in a live show on ESPN2, and five Dodgers are among the finalists. Their fates depend in part on a new wrinkle to the voting process: The SDI, short for the SABR Defensive Index.

The SDI counts for approximately 25 percent of the vote, according to SABR’s website, and that 25 percent can be further broken down into a series of acronyms that look like a disorganized jumble of refrigerator magnets: DRS, UZR, RED, DRA and TZ. Managers and coaches still hold a majority of the vote, and each player’s SDI score was included on the ballots distributed to each team’s staff.

What does it all mean, and what does this have to do with The Fielding Bible?

Fielding Bible co-author John Dewan is the co-founder of Stats LLC and the owner of Baseball Info Solutions, whose data feeds into all those nifty acronyms — and this year, the Gold Glove Award. And Dewan’s data believes that Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke should win a Gold Glove Award.

Yesterday, TheFieldingBible.com posted its annual picks for the best fielder at each position in the majors. Greinke is scarcely mentioned, because the two leagues weren’t separated and Toronto Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey was chosen as the best fielding pitcher in baseball. But Greinke was chosen as the second-best fielding pitcher in baseball, and the best in the National League.

Greinke has never won a Gold Glove Award (a tiny shame, since his current contract holds no Gold Glove Award bonuses but his last contract, signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2009, did). Tonight could be his night. If so, he can thank SDI and TMI — too much information.

Some bullet points for a Turkish Republic Day:
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