It’s time once again for the All-Star Break, which means that it’s also, for the fifth year running, time for Bird’s Eye View’s BEVy Awards!
Our categories have been the same since 2013 – The Forgotten Man Award and the “Why Are You Breaking My Heart Like This, Just Let Me Love You!” Award.
Our previous winners:
2013 – Alex Burnett
2014 – Ramon Ramirez
2015 – Cesar Cabral
2016 – Francisco Pena
“Why Are You Breaking My Heart Like This, Just Let Me Love You!”
2013 – Jim Johnson
2014 – Chris Davis
2015 – Chris Tillman
2016 – Kevin Gausman
We always name this year’s award after the previous winner. With that in mind, your nominees are…
Francisco Pena Memorial Forgotten Man Award
Kinda sad that last year’s winner of this award could again be a nominee, given the nature of the honor. We could probably have just renamed this year’s “The Norfolk Shuttle” Award. However, some of those guys are likely to be up and down again very soon, so you’ll remember them just because you’re forced to watch them implode so very many times! Anywho…the nominees!
Edwin Jackson – The savvy veteran who was to stabilize the bullpen at first, and THEN maybe even a rotation spot! HA! Edwin tossed 5.0 innings of “relief,” allowing four runs on 11 hits, with four walks and two dingers thrown in, before being sent to the big DFA in the sky.
Oliver Drake – Ol’ Ollie was allowed to hang around for just 3.1 innings this year, during which he allowed three earned on six hits. He was out of options, which makes him persona non grata in Dan Duquette’s eyes. The former Midshipman with the funky delivery is now in Milwaukee.
David Washington – Washington got the call-up over Pedro Alvarez (for some reason) when Chris Davis hit the DL, and struck out five times in six at-bats before being sent back to Norfolk. And this after he did his best Davis impression! Not fair, man.
Francisco Pena – Frankie has played in five games, memorably hitting the crap out of the ball during that nightmare Mother’s Day weekend series in Kansas City. He was then DFA’d only to clear waivers and be outrighted to Norfolk. Should Welington Castillo be moved this month, Pena would likely split the catching duties with Caleb Joseph for the rest of the season, one would expect.
The Kevin Gausman “Why Are You Breaking My Heart Like This, Just Let Me Love You!” Award
Manny Machado – Even having Manny listed here already makes him the most heartbreaking nominee in the history of the Heartbreaker award. That he’s the odds-on favorite to win it? Orange soul crushing. It’s July, and Manny is hitting a dismal .215/.284/.420. His wRC+ is just 81 (it was 97 as a rookie in 2012), he seems determined to stick with his “hit everything to the moon” approach, and every time it looks like he might be ready to break out of it, he goes into another extended 0-fer. Perhaps the most heartbreaking thing? None of this is making his pricetag drop much.
Kevin Gausman – Though he has turned in consecutive scoreless starts, and has hopefully turned a corner, Gausman was a huge disappointment in the season’s first half. 5-7 with a 5.61 ERA from your opening day starter? Yuck. Go deeper, and it just gets worse: A 4.93 FIP, 5.04 xFIP, 4.16 BB/9, and just 93.0 innings pitched over 18 starts. Can Gausman be our first back-to-back winner? Earning this honor seemed to give him just the kick in the pants he needed to turn it around in the second half last season, so maybe you should #VoteKevin.
J.J. Hardy – The guy who used to elicit a fun call-and-response from Oriole Park PA announcer Ryan Wagner and the fans is but a shell of his former self. .211/.248/.308 and a 43 wRC+, and now an injury that’s kept him out since mid-June, and will continue to do so through at least the All-Star break. Hardy’s swan song in orange and black isn’t shaping up the way anybody would have liked.
Chris Tillman – Hey look, more disappointing starting pitchers! #ThatsSoOs, amirite? Tilly missed the first month, came back and earned a shaky win in his first start, and has been a proverbial dumpster fire ever since. 1-5, 7.90 ERA, 6.25 FIP, 5.63 xFIP, 4.78 BB/9 and just 6.61 K/9. The silver lining? The O’s haven’t extended him yet! Unlike Manny, Tilly is absolutely costing himself $$ every time out.