We’ve established Texas Rangers‘ ace Kyle Gibson‘s legitimacy as a trade piece for the organization at this July’s trade deadline. But that’s not the only area where he should be garnering some attention.
It’s time to recognize the candidacy of Kyle Gibson for the 2021 American League Cy Young Award, handed out to the league’s best pitcher during the off-season.
Hard to believe, right? That the rebuilding Texas Rangers would find themselves in a position where one of their pitchers (at present) has a real shot at the league’s most prestigious pitching awards? Yeah, we definitely didn’t see that coming at all prior to the season.
You might call this development a pleasant surprise, or perhaps even Christmas in July, if you will.
The 33-year-old Gibson, who holds a career 4.37 ERA, sports a sparkling 1.98 ERA through 16 starts and 95.2 innings pitched in 2021. He’s struck out 81 batters, which is remarkable when you consider that this current age in baseball is so strikeout-heavy. Gibson is finding success without racking up all the K’s.
That ERA dropped to under 2 after he fired 5.2 innings of one-run ball against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Texas Rangers’ ace Kyle Gibson should be considered for the AL Cy Young in 2021 if he keeps pitching at this high of a level
The Rangers’ ace has been a revelation in 2021, especially juxtaposed against his forgettable 2020 and his 5.35 ERA from that shortened season.
Currently, Gibson’s 1.98 ERA in 2021 stands as the top figure in the American League. That’s huge for his potential Cy candidacy. There’s still a whole second half to be played, and the veteran righty may even find himself in the NL before August, but we can only take what we’ve been given. And that’s been his excellence thus far.
Pitcher wins shouldn’t factor much into a Cy Young candidacy anymore, but it can’t hurt Gibson that he’s 6-0 for the Texas Rangers despite their losing record and last place standing in the AL West. That reflects well on him.
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One area where Gibson could struggle to stay afloat in Cy Young consideration is of course the fact that he plays for the Texas Rangers, who are a losing club and therefore don’t receive the kind of attention that a lesser pitcher on a better team might be privy to.
In addition, a 3.42 FIP suggests that regression is due for the righty, since his ERA (1.98) is a nearly a run and a half lower than his FIP. Should he finish 2021 with an ERA closer to that 3.42 mark, it will surely remove him from Cy contention.
But the above point is merely conjecture at this point, since what the voters are seeing right now is a thriving Kyle Gibson sitting atop his game.
With all the trade talk that will engulf the Texas Rangers this July, it’s easy to lose sight of just how under-the-radar good Gibson has been this season.
Good enough for an AL Cy Young if he keeps this up.