Venable, Cashner draw GIBBY nominations
Outfielder's diving grab, right-hander's breakout season, one-hit gem recognized
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Will Venable wasn't a finalist for a Gold Glove this season, though he might have had one of the best catches of the 2013 season.
Venable's back-to-plate, diving grab in June against the Giants at AT&T Park is one nominee for a 2013 GIBBY Award for the top play of the year.
Pitcher Andrew Cashner is nominated in the breakout pitcher category and for the top pitching performance after his gem against the Pirates in September, when he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2013 Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
In the past five years, fans have cast more than 50 million votes across the various GIBBY categories, none of which was restricted to individual League affiliation. Fan voting runs through Dec. 1.
Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Venable's catch came on June 17 in the bottom of the 12th inning with two outs and the winning run at second base. Juan Perez of the Giants hit a long fly ball to center field that kept carrying. Venable made a diving grab, fully extended, landing on the warning track. The Padres went on to win the game, 5-3, in 13 innings.
"He [Perez] hit the ball well. I was playing in because I wanted to be sure we didn't get beat on a ground ball," Venable said after the game. "It was one where you reach for it and your body takes you off your feet."
As for Cashner, he shined in his first full season as a starter, going 10-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 games (26 starts). He got better as the season went on, posting a 2.25 ERA in August and a 0.76 mark in the final month of the season, which included that gem against the Pirates.
On September 16 at PNC Park, Cashner threw his first shutout, allowing one hit with no walks to go with seven strikeouts. He retired the first 18 batters he faced before Jose Tabata singled to start the seventh inning. All told, Cashner faced the minimum 27 batters.
"Cashner threw great," Padres manager Bud Black said after the game. "He was locked in on all pitches, the delivery was repeating itself, in between pitches the tempo that he set, the Pirates were aggressive and Cashner in the 90-plus pitches he threw, there were a few mistakes. You're not going to throw 95-96 perfect pitches, but he was outstanding."