As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I get the privilege of voting in the awards that are handed out. The Goose Gossage Award is presented to the league’s best relief pitcher.
1) Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Atlanta
Kimbrel was just absolutely lights out for the Braves this year. Over 62 2/3 innings, he posted a miniscule 1.01 ERA and struck out 16.66 batters per nine innings. He also converted 42 of 45 save opportunities. The 24-year-old has emerged as the best reliever in the National League.
2) Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati
Kimbrel’s season was the best in the league this season, but Chapman’s was pretty close. Chapman was slated for the Reds’ rotation this season, but losing Ryan Madson for the year forced him back to the bullpen where he quickly took over the closer’s role. In 71 2/3 innings, he had a 1.51 ERA and struck out 15.32 batters per nine innings. He went until June 7th without giving up an earned run.
3) Sergio Romo, RHP, San Francisco
Romo gets slated into a pretty distant third place, despite putting up his usual solid season. Romo stepped up to help anchor a Giants bullpen that lost Brian Wilson for the year. Over 55 1/3 innings, Romo posted a 1.79 ERA, good for fourth among qualified relievers and struck out 10.25 per nine innings. He also converted 14 of 15 save opportunities.