Mariners' top arms recognized with GIBBY nominations

Mariners' top arms recognized with GIBBY nominations

SEATTLE -- Pitching carried the upstart Mariners to within one win of a playoff bid in 2014, so it should be no surprise that three Seattle hurlers are among the nominees for MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) awards.

Felix Hernandez is one of eight finalists for the honor of top starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Fernando Rodney is among the nine relievers selected in the top closer competition. And Chris Young is one of nine selections available in the "Bounceback" category for 2014.

Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2014 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.

This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 25 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.

GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top regular-season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment, postseason storyline, postseason walk-off and postseason play. Fans can watch these and more by accessing MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which is restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs consider the best of the best.

All 30 clubs are represented among the award candidates, a fact many consider to be a testament to the competitive balance around the game.

Fans can vote as many times as they want through Nov. 21 at 8:59 p.m. PT by visiting mlb.com/gibbys, and winners will be announced live on the MLB Network and MLB.com on Dec. 6.

The Mariners' nominee in the Top Play category is Dustin Ackley's sensational over-the-wall grab to rob the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud of a home run at Safeco Field on July 21.

Kyle Seager is featured as the Mariners' Walk-Off video clip nominee for his three-run blast that snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Astros on April 23 at Safeco and helped turn Seattle's season around after a slow start.

The Mariners also have candidates in the Cut 4 topic with a segment on Sriracha Night for fans at Safeco Field, while Robinson Cano's "fashion help" is the topic in Seattle's nominee in the "Oddity" category.

Among the individual honors, all three of Seattle's pitchers should be strong contenders. Hernandez is an odds-on favorite to win his second American League Cy Young Award after going 15-6 with a league-leading 2.14 ERA and career-best 248 strikeouts. But since GIBBY competition isn't divided by league, he'll be head up against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for top starting pitching honors in all of baseball.

Also nominated in the stacked starting pitching category are Johnny Cueto of the Reds, Corey Kluber of the Indians, Chris Sale of the White Sox, Jon Lester of the A's, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.

Rodney, who led the AL with a club-record 48 saves, faces strong competition as well from Craig Kimbrel of the Braves, Zach Britton of the Orioles, Aroldis Chapman of the Reds, Greg Holland of the Royals, Huston Street of the Angels, Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers, Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers and Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies.

Young, who was named AL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News, put together a 12-9 record and 3.65 ERA in 30 games after not pitching in the Majors at all in 2013 due to shoulder issues.

In the GIBBYs "Bounceback" competition, Young will be up against Starlin Castro of the Cubs, Cueto, Justin Morneau of the Rockies, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Casey McGehee of the Marlins, Edinson Volquez of the Pirates, Tim Hudson of the Giants and Pat Neshek of the Cardinals.

Several categories -- Play, Oddity, Walk-Off and Cut4 Topic -- opened balloting with at least one nominee per club. After a week of voting, the four lists were trimmed to 10 finalists per group by a panel.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.