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November 3, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Felix Hernandez, Chris Young pick MLB Players’ Choice Awards

Seattle Times file photo

Seattle Times file photo

The awards season continues and the Mariners picked up a couple of deserving winners in the annual MLB Players’ Choice Awards, which were aired Tuesday night on MLB Network.

Felix Hernandez was given the award for most outstanding pitcher in the American League, beating out Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Chicago’s Chris Sale – his likely competition for the AL Cy Young Award.

Hernandez finished the 2015 season with a 15-6 record in 32 starts. He posted an AL-best 2.14 ERA, which edged out Sale for the title. The 2.14 ERA is the lowest by an AL pitcher since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 mark in 2000. Hernandez also led the league in in WHIP (0.915), opponent batting average (.200) and opponent on-base percentage (.243). He finished second in the league in innings pitched (236.0) and fourth in strikeouts (248).

And of course there was his MLB record setting streak of 16 straight starts of allowing two runs or fewer in at least seven innings pitches. The previous record was 13 by Tom Seaver in 1971.

Hernandez was a finalist for a Gold Glove award, which will be announced tomorrow, and he’s the favorite to win the AL Cy Young award.

 

Seattle Times file photo

Seattle Times file photo

This was the second comeback player of year award for Young, who was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year award by “The Sporting News” a week ago. Young was certainly deserving.

The 35-year-old pitched in the big leagues for the first time since 2012 and had a solid season, posting a 12-9 record with a 3.65 earned-run average in 29 starts and one relief appearance. He made nine minor-league starts in 2013 and then had season-ending shoulder surgery. From 2009-2012, Young made just 42 big-league starts, battling shoulder issues as doctors were unable to correct the discomfort.

The Mariners acquired Young, who went to spring training with the Nationals, the day before spring training ended. They immediately inserted the free agent into the rotation. An afterthought at first, he became one of their best starters.

His 12 victories tied the career high he set in 2005 with Texas. The 165 innings pitched this season were the third-most of his big-league career.

As part of the awards, each player received $20,000 to donate a charity of their choice. Hernandez chose the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Hernandez has had a lengthy connection to Make-A-Wish. He has visited hundreds of children at local hospitals and has granted wishes and entertained kids from the Make-A-Wish on numerous occasions. He also helps Make-A-Wish fundraising events and has donated countless autographed items over the years.

Young selected DonorsChoose.org to support Seattle-area classrooms in need.

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