It’ll be nice to write something about Wade Davis right here that doesn’t have to do with his usage in the NLCS.
MLB has announced its three finalists in each league for the reliever of the year, and Cubs closer Wade Davis made the cut in the National League, together with Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and Brewers closer Corey Knebel.
Davis, 32, is a free agent after this season, and set a new Cubs record by saving 32 straight games before finally blowing one on September 23. He posted a 2.30 ERA and was worth 1.1 WAR for the Cubs.
Davis was totally necessary and dominant for the Cubs this year, but he’s a laggard in the various metrics by which you might measure the top NL reliever. Jansen and Knebel were tops in the NL by WAR with a staggering 3.5 and 2.8, respectively. Davis was tied for 13th with – if you can believe it – Brett Cecil, Chris Rusin, and Greg Holland. Davis was 9th by ERA, but Jansen (1.32) and Knebel (1.78) were 1st and 6th.
Even just by the counting number of saves, Davis’s 32 trailed four other relievers in the NL, none with fewer than 39, and none more than Jansen and Holland’s 41.
I could go on, but it’ll seem like I’m talking bad about Davis’s season. There’s no way I’ll be doing that, because the guy was fantastic – a clear top 5/10 reliever in the NL, and rock solid for the Cubs when they needed him.
But when it comes to this award, there are quite a few guys who probably deserve to be up top, and the winner should and will be Jansen.