No team in Major League Baseball has ever completed an awards sweep, winning the Cy Young Award, Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Rookie of the Year (ROTY) all in the same season.
History shows that many teams have come close to making an awards sweep. Most recently, Justin Verlander (Cy Young Award) and Yordan Alvarez (AL ROTY) won two of the three awards in 2019 with the Houston Astros. Verlander was part of a tandem in 2013 with Miguel Cabrera (MVP) while with the Detroit Tigers.
The San Diego Padres currently have three players on their team building individual cases to become the first set of teammates to complete the sweep. Starting pitchers Joe Musgrove and Mackenzie Gore have emerged as candidates for the Cy Young and NL ROTY, respectively. Third baseman Manny Machado is having an MVP-caliber season and is on pace for the best season of his career. Here are how the three Padres measure up for their respective awards.
Musgrove will be a free agent at the end of the season, and the message sent to the league is that his services will not come cheap when, and if, he hits the free agent market. A San Diego native, Musgrove has already solidified a hometown legacy. He is the first and only Friar to throw a no-hitter. He came close to throwing his second career no-no in 2022. The story as to why it didn’t happen is … fascinating.
Musgrove currently has a 2.25 ERA, third in the National League behind Sandy Alcantara (1.95) and Tony Gonsolin (1.54). He’s on pace to post career bests in ERA, and FIP (currently 3.10), and could set a personal best for strikeouts (203). He currently has 92 through 14 starts. Despite these numbers, he appears as a dark horse at best in the eyes of “experts.”
Machado currently leads the National League MVP race. He missed a handful of games in June with an ankle injury, something that hasn’t impacted his standing (no pun intended) going forward. He’s on pace for not just an MVP season, but maybe the best season of his career.
Machado is currently hitting .318/.392/.528/.920. St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a higher quadruple slash line (.340/.422/.620/1.042). At the same time, Machado has played seven fewer games. San Diego’s record without Machado in those games — 4–3.
Also in the MVP race is Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado. Goldschmidt and Arenado have each played 78 games in the same lineup this season. Machado is carrying the Padres without their presumed MVP candidate, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who has been recovering from wrist surgery since the start of the season.
Selected No. 3 overall in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft, Gore debuted in 2022. The left-hander saw a couple of rocky starts in June (again, no pun intended) against the Colorado Rockies, giving up 14 runs over the two outings. His ERA sits at 3.18 as a result of this orogeny.
What Could Happen?
The tricky thing about predicting season awards is that we, as humans, can’t see into the future. According to reports, Machado has the best chance of coming away with anything out of these three. Gore could revert back to having a sub-2.00 ERA. Musgrove could throw more scoreless outings. Other players chasing these respective awards could also have second-half breakouts.
The Padres have three players on their roster, of which each is making an argument for why all three could do in 2022 what has never happened in baseball.
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