The Silver Slugger awards, presented by Louisville Slugger, were handed out Thursday night to honor the best offensive players at each position. I’m searching for a better way to construct this lede, but it’s really a pretty self-explanatory deal.
Anthony Rizzo continued to protect himself against an unstable stock market by hoarding even more precious metal. After taking home the Gold Glove at first base earlier in the week, he now has a sterling stick for his work with the bat. A slash line of .292/.385/.544 with 32 homers, 109 RBI, and 94 runs scored is a really solid season. Thing is, though, Rizzo wasn’t even the best offensive first baseman in the NL in 2016; Freddie Freeman and Joey Votto were better by nearly every statistical measure.
Rizzo, however, was the best-hitting first baseman playing for a team that didn’t suck, so there’s that. Also kind of a makeup for the time he lost out to an offensively inferior Adrian Gonzalez. Huh, maybe that’s just a thing with this award.
Jake Arrieta was kind of a surprise choice for the Silver Slugger as well, what with the greatness of the other pitchers who rake in the NL. I mean, Waino, man. And Thor. Even MadBum has cause to be red-assed about losing out here. Then again, Arrieta did smash that home run in Arizona in his second start of the season and he took Bumgarner deep in the NLDS, which was awesome. I’m not sure how or when the voting for these awards took place, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that that latter dinger may have played a role.
Arrieta could not be reached for comment because he was busy helping Bryan Cranston pack for Canada. Too soon?