Masterson, Giambi honored by Cleveland writers
Righty wins Bob Feller Man of Year Award; veteran DH given Good Guy Award
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Masterson served as the Indians' unquestioned leader on the mound during the team's memorable season this year. Veteran Jason Giambi took on that role within the confines of Cleveland's clubhouse.
Both have been rewarded for the parts they played for the Tribe in 2013.
On Sunday, it was announced that the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America named Masterson the 2013 recipient of the Bob Feller Man of the Year Award and honored Giambi with the Frank Gibbons-Steve Olin Good Guy Award. Both players will receive plaques next season.
During the Indians' run to the American League's top Wild Card berth this past season, Masterson embraced being a leader for the pitching staff, pacing the staff in innings and willingly taking on a bullpen role when an oblique injury limited him in late September. Masterson made his first All-Star team and threw the first and last pitch for the Indians in the regular season.
"It was a really good year," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Justin, if you reflect back on the year that he had this year, he was one of the better pitchers in the American League for a large portion of the season. He ended up transitioning to the bullpen at the end of the year, because we had an opportunity there.
"It was really a selfless thing for Justin to do, to try to figure out a way where he could help impact the team while he was not yet built back up to full strength. I think Justin deserves a lot of credit for that."
Overall, Masterson logged 193 innings, going 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 32 games (29 starts). The right-handed sinkerballer also logged two innings of relief during the Indians' loss to the Rays in the AL Wild Card Game.
Masterson edged second baseman Jason Kipnis for the award, and Ubaldo Jimenez and Michael Brantley were also nominated.
Giambi was a unanimous choice for the Good Guy Award, which typically is given to a player who understands their job and is cooperative with the media. Win or lose, the 42-year-old Giambi was available in the clubhouse, and he served not only as a good spokesman for the team, but as a vocal leader for the club when reporters were not present.
Throughout the Indians' 92-win campaign, Giambi took it upon himself to call team meetings at appropriate times. The part-time designated hitter and pinch-hitter served as almost an extra coach for manager Terry Francona, who admittedly "leaned on" Giambi for advice during the season as well.
On the field, Giambi hit just .183 in 71 games, but he had a knack for driving in runs in key situations. He launched three pinch-hit home runs, including arguably the biggest hit of Cleveland's season. On Sept. 24, Giambi broke his own record as the oldest player in baseball history to belt a walk-off home run, delivering a two-run blast against the White Sox amidst the Tribe's season-ending 10-game winning streak.