Finalists for the four primary postseason awards will be announced tonight, and Kevin Cash is the most likely Ray to be named in the AL manager of the year field.
The other awards, presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for each league, are rookie of the year, Cy Young and MVP.
Infielder Brandon Lowe has a chance to be among the top three finishers in the rookie voting expected to be won by Houston’s Yordan Alvarez. Lowe missed 68 games due to injury after fouling a ball off his right shin in July 2; at the time he was leading the Rays and was second among AL rookies with 16 homers and 49 RBIs. He returned to action Sept. 22 and finished the season hitting .270 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs.
Starter Charlie Morton could be the No. 3 finisher in the Cy Young race that is expected to be a close vote between his two former Astros teammates, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. Morton, who turns 36 next week, had a year of personal bests for the Rays, going 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA and 240 strikeouts while making a career most 33 starts and working a career-high 194.2 innings.
Cash, in his fifth season, led the Rays to 96 wins and a wild-card playoff berth for their first trip to the postseason since 2013, managing then through a series of injuries to key players while employing unorthodox pitching strategies, keeping the team upbeat and focused.
Cash was a finalist for the BBWAA award last year, finishing third behind Oakland’s Bob Melvin and runner-up Alex Cora of Boston, when the Rays won 90 games on his watch.
The top three finishers for each award will be revealed tonight (6., MLB Network) and the winners named next week over four nights. It will top rookies on Monday, managers on Tuesday, Cy Youngs for top pitchers on Wednesday and MVPs to wrap up awards week on Thursday, Nov. 14.