As he continues his rehab process from another Tommy John Surgery, Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler has been very vocal this season. He has appeared on different podcasts and posted on social media more, which has been cool to see for the fans
Recently he joined The Just Baseball Show and gave his idea for a new award that should be given out in the MLB.
“Let’s have a Fernando Valenzuela Award, the best rookie pitcher ever,” Buehler said.Per The Just Baseball Show
This would be an interesting award created and would be fun to see battled out for each season.
If baseball decided to give out a Rookie of the Year award to both a pitcher and batter, it would be similar to how the NFL does things. They give out an award to one player on each side of the ball in each conference, and the MLB could follow suit.
“Not to be like, ‘Oh, I should get all this stuff,’ but I was third in the Rookie of the Year to Ronald Acuña Jr. and Juan Soto. Pretty generational, but also, neither of them pitch, so who am I competing against?”Per The Just Baseball Show
When Buehler came up in 2018, he was special and helped lead the Dodgers to the World Series. He was one of the sparks that helped LA get to the fall classic, so he deserved all the praise that he could have received.
Even his own manager Dave Roberts agrees with this assessment. Roberts gave his thoughts on the potential award.
“I think that’s actually really smart. You look at the MVP, you look at the Cy Young for the pitcher, and very few pitchers win the MVP,” Roberts said. “Having a Rookie of the Year and a Fernando Valenzuela Rookie of the Year pitcher, I think it’s brilliant.”Per SNLA
If this award were to be created, it would also honor Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela as well. He remains the only rookie in history to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards in a single season.
“Starting pitchers get paid a lot of money. So what you’re saying is like, Oh, you aren’t as valuable as rookies but we’re still making the same money in the end. I just don’t buy that. For me, it should be a consideration.”Per The Just Baseball Show
We see different awards created in sports all the time, so hopefully, baseball gets on this. It would create a more fair system for rookies and allow players to have more incentive to perform.
Maybe we will see this come to fruition soon! It would be an awesome addition to the award list, and all credit would need to be granted to Buehler for the idea.
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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