Washington Nationals southpaw Patrick Corbin was the recipient of the 2019 Warren Spahn Award, edging out Hyun-Jin Ryu, who enjoyed a career year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and others. The honor is presented annually by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to the top left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball.
The Warren Spahn Award evaluates pitchers on wins, ERA and strikeouts. Corbin went 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA and 238 strikeouts in 202 innings pitched during the 2019 season (33 starts).
The 30-year-old later posted a 2-3 record in eight postseason appearances, compiling a 5.79 ERA and 1.41 WHIP with 36 strikeouts against 12 walks in 23.1 innings pitched. He was tabbed for two of those losses against the Dodgers in the 2019 National League Division Series, but closed out the matchup on a strong note with 1.1 scoreless frames in the deciding Game 5.
The Warren Spahn Award has been given out since 1999. In addition to the aforementioned southpaws, previous winners include Clayton Kershaw (2011, 2013-14, 2017), Gio Gonzalez (2012), Price (2010), CC Sabathia (2007–2009), Johan Santana (2004, 2006), Dontrelle Willis (2005) and Andy Pettitte (2003).
Ryu dominated at the forefront of the Dodgers starting rotation for most of the 2019 season, going 14-5 with an MLB-best 2.32 ERA, 3.10 FIP and 1.01 WHIP in 182.2 innings. He posted career-highs in numerous categories, including Baseball-Reference’s version of WAR (5.1) and strikeouts (163), while additionally pacing the NL in ERA+ (179).
Ryu was successful in his lone postseason start, earning a win over the Nationals in Game 3 of the NLDS. He allowed just two runs on four hits in five innings of work, propelling the Dodgers to a 2-1 advantage that unfortunately would not hold up.
Ryu’s excellent 2019 campaign has put him in position to sign a lucrative contract this offseason. He was one of four Dodgers players to become free agents at the conclusion of the World Series, and while his market has yet to fully develop, he is reportedly open to returning to L.A.
While Ryu ultimately missed out on winning the Warren Spahn Award, he is still in the running for NL Cy Young honors. The left-hander is one of three finalists for the award, along with New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom and Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer. The winner will be revealed on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
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