Showalter worthy of AL MOY Award consideration

O's skipper led club to postseason with strong campaign

Showalter worthy of AL MOY Award consideration

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter will be the last to state his case as a finalist for the Baseball Writers' Association of America's 2016 American League Manager of the Year Award, but Baltimore's skipper nevertheless deserves some credit.

Showalter -- who has guided the O's to postseason appearances in three of the past five seasons -- is the only AL finalist who didn't win a division title. He will go up against Cleveland's Terry Francona and Texas' Jeff Banister when the award is unveiled Tuesday night on MLB Network.

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The Orioles, widely picked to finish in last place in the AL East, rode a red-hot April to an early division lead. Despite an unstable rotation, Showalter guided the O's to an 89-73 record and the AL Wild Card Game, which they lost in Toronto.

There's a strong case to be made that the Orioles wouldn't have reached the postseason had it not been for the steady presence of Showalter, who again masterfully manipulated the roster throughout the 162-game season, using a superb bullpen to cover for his club's starting woes.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year Award winner in three decades, Showalter last won the award in 2014, when the O's won their first division title since 1997. He's appeared on Manager of the Year Award ballots in nine of his 18 seasons as a Major League manager.

The trio of 2016 AL finalists are familiar faces for the award, as they've combined to win the past three seasons. Francona won in 2013, Showalter won in '14, and Banister won last season.

Showalter's teams have gone 547-482 over six-plus seasons with Baltimore, the .532 winning percentage his best mark since guiding the Yankees from 1992-95 (.539). His 1,029-game tenure with the Orioles is his longest as a skipper, with the 648 games he managed in Texas his next-longest stint.

Showalter owns a 1,429-1,315 career managerial record across stints with the Yankees, D-backs, Rangers and O's.

Esurance MLB Awards week concludes Friday on MLB Network and at 8 p.m. ET with the MLB Awards. Categories include Best Major Leaguer, Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Executive and Manager.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.