Matheny a finalist for BBWAA NL Manager of the Year

Matheny a finalist for BBWAA NL Manager of the Year

ST. LOUIS -- After his fourth straight season of guiding the Cardinals to the postseason, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is guaranteed his first top-three finish in the Baseball Writers' Association of America National League Manager of the Year Award voting.

Matheny, who guided the Cardinals to their ninth 100-win season, was announced as a finalist for the award on Tuesday, along with the Mets' Terry Collins and the Cubs' Joe Maddon. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network.

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It is worth noting that voting for all BBWAA Awards took place before the postseason, so the deep runs by the Mets and Cubs did not factor into the candidacy for Collins or Maddon. Two BBWAA writers from each of the 15 NL cities cast a vote for this award.

Though Matheny is the only manager in baseball history to lead his team to the postseason each of his first four full seasons on the job, he had never finished higher than fourth in Manager of the Year Award voting. In fact, he's never received a first-place vote.

That's expected to change this year, after Matheny managed the Cardinals to baseball's first 100-win season since 2011 and did so while navigating his club through a myriad of injuries. The Cardinals sat alone atop the NL Central over their final 154 games and had only one losing streak of more than three games.

Consider that Matheny had to maneuver his club through injuries to Adam Wainwright, Jordan Walden, Matt Adams, Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk, Jon Jay, Jaime Garcia, Yadier Molina, Matt Belisle, Carlos Martinez and Lance Lynn. Using WAR to measure the impact of these players, the Cardinals were hurt by injuries more than any other club in the Majors.

Matheny, lauded for his ability to maintain a cohesive clubhouse, kept his club on point through it all. That included the task of helping the Cardinals through the grieving process after the tragic death of Oscar Taveras last offseason.

Since replacing Tony La Russa, Matheny owns a .579 winning percentage, the best in the Majors during that four-year span.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.