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Will any Rays be finalists for BBWAA awards tonight?

Manager Kevin Cash seems to have the best chance to be among the top three for the four major awards.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) smiles in the dugout just prior to the Rays taking on the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the American League Division Series Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in Houston. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Nov. 4
Updated Nov. 4

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.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dugout the day after clinching a playoff spot. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Ray Rocco Baldelli wins top honors after his first season with the Twins.
  2. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, addresses the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Award came from a vote of team executives; Yankees Cashman was second.
  3. Flanked by his mother, Michelle Alonso, left, father Peter Alonso (blue shirt, standing), girlfriend Haley Walsh, right, and friends, New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, 24, reacts as he finds out he has won the National League Rookie of the Year award on Monday at his home in Tampa.  Alonso, a Plant High graduate, made a grand entrance to the big leagues, hitting a major-league rookie and team-record 53 home runs for the Mets. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The easiest part of the day for the travel-weary first baseman may have been receiving the prestigious award.
  4. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash speaks at a news conference before an Oct. 1 American League wild-card game practice in Oakland, Calif. JEFF CHIU  |  AP
    Marc Topkin: The Twins Rocco Baldelli and Yankees Aaron Boone are the other two finalists for the hard-to-define award.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (8) is showered with sunflower seeds after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Plant High and Florida star Pete Alonso a favorite for NL Rookie of the Year, to be announced Monday
  6. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, says of the general manager meetings, which start this week, "We’d love to find a way to score a lot more runs without sacrificing run prevention.'' DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Erik Neander says 2019 success provides “a stronger starting point” than they have had in a while. Plus, rumblings.
  7. Manager Kevin Cash has led the Rays to back-to-back seasons of 90 or more victories. He finished third in the American League Manager of the Year voting in 2018 and is one of three finalists again this year with the winner being announced on Tuesday. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    John Romano: His profile is as low as Tampa Bay’s payroll, but AL Manager of the Year candidate Kevin Cash consistently gets the most out of the Rays.
  8. ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times
Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro (33) talks to umpire Bruce Dreckman at the bottom of the fourth inning against Texas Rangers on Sunday, June 30, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. 
 ALLIE GOULDING  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The other finalists, per a report, are Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) pumps his fist while walking onto the field just prior to taking on the Houston Astros for Game 3 of the American League Division Series in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Charlie Morton is in the top 3 for the Cy Young Award and Brandon Lowe for Rookie of the Year honors as well.
  10. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) smiles in the dugout just prior to the Rays taking on the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the American League Division Series Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Manager Kevin Cash seems to have the best chance to be among the top three for the four major awards.
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