With a great season comes great reward, and the Diamondbacks have the potential to clean up in the coming weeks.
There is a chance Justin Upton could win the NL MVP, Ian Kennedy the NL Cy Young and Kirk Gibson the Manager of the Year award.
According to FoxSports.com, two of the three should happen.
For instance, Upton is the NL’s most valuable.
OK, others have more eye-popping numbers, but no other hitter had the lack of protection of Upton in NL West champion Arizona’s lineup. With Stephen Drew suffering a broken leg, Upton’s primary lineup protection came from Miguel Montero and free-swinging Chris Young.
Furthermore, Gibson should get the award for the league’s top manager, and odds are he will.
Thanks to support of new GM Kevin Towers, Gibson was able to change a losing culture created by the previous administration and pulled off the biggest surprise of the major-league season by taking the Diamondbacks to the NL West title.
Unfortunately, Kennedy is not likely to win the Cy Young award, and with good reason. Clayton Kershaw has had an unbelievable season for the Dodgers, probably doing enough to stay ahead of the D-backs’ ace.
That doesn’t mean Kennedy has had a disappointing season.
And there were giggles when manager Kirk Gibson made Kennedy the Opening Day starter? After going 9-10 last season, he matched Kershaw for the NL lead in wins and became the anchor for a division-champion rotation.