Tampa Bay Rays starter Shane McClanahan may be the strongest candidate to win the AL Cy Young Award should the season end today.
He has been the most consistent dominating force on the mound in the junior circuit.
However, he’s apparently not on Dusty Baker’s radar.
“American League manager Dusty Baker on American League starter Shane McClanahan: ‘I’ve never seen him pitch,'” ESPN reporter Jeff Passan tweeted, quoting the current Astros skipper from Houston.
Baker will lead the American League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, and it’s a little odd that he doesn’t remember McClanahan as his starter.
However, according to Passan, Baker saw McClanahan pitch: “For the record, Dusty Baker saw Shane McClanahan pitch … in a 2021 ALCS game. He came in relief and allowed three runs in 1.2 innings. Guess it wasn’t a particularly memorable outing,” Passan wrote.
(For the record, Dusty Baker saw Shane McClanahan pitch…in a 2021 ALCS game. He came on relief and allowed three runs in 1.2 innings. I guess that wasn’t a particularly memorable outing.)
—Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 18, 2022
As Passan says, it must have been no stellar relief appearance for Baker not to be remembered.
A best pitcher in the American League
In any case, Baker doesn’t need to see him pitch to know that he was exceptional on the mound for the Rays, one of the best teams in the American League.
Playing in Tampa, McClanahan may not have had the kind of national exposure necessary for him to be widely recognizable among non-hardcore fans.
But that could change on Tuesday.
McClanahan, a young left-hander who broke through last year, is 10-3 with a 1.71 ERA in 110.2 innings so far.
Perhaps most impressively, his BB/K ratio so far is 19/147, an absolutely elite number that proves his dominance is legit.
It’s time for the whole baseball world to get to know this talented left-hander, who could very well win several Cy Young awards at the end of his career.
This includes Baker.