Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that David Price of the Boston Red Sox and Jonny Venters of the Atlanta Braves had won the American and National League Comeback Player of the Year Awards for their bounce-back performances in 2018.
The American League recipient, David Price, was limited by injury to just 16 games and 11 starts in 2017. Price bounced back in 2018 with a solid season, posting a 16-7 win-loss record with a 3.58 ERA over 30 starts. Price was especially dominant in the second half of the season in which he posted a 6-1 win-loss record with a 2.25 ERA in 11 starts.
Price led the Boston Red Sox pitching staff into the Postseason and was a dominant force, winning one game with a 3.38 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 10 2/3 innings in the ALCS against the Astros and two games with a 1.98 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 13 2/3 innings in the World Series against the Dodgers (one of those being Game 7). Price is the third Red Sox player to win the award, joining Jacoby Ellsbury (2011) and teammate Rick Porcello (2016). Long story short, the Price was wrong last year, but that was not the case in 2018.
As for the National League recipient, Venters, coming into this year, had not pitched in the Major League since 2012. Venters was out due to Tommy John surgery for the second and third times in his career. After Venters made his improbable return, he pitched surprisingly well. In a combined 34 1/3 innings for the Rays and Braves, Venters put up a 5-1 record with an ERA of 3.67 with three saves. He also made two appearances against the Dodgers in the NLDS. Venters’ return itself was improbable, but the fact that he was able to be an effective reliever for the entire season was incredible.
Mike Moustakas and Greg Holland took home the award in 2018 and now the torch will be passed to Jonny Venters and David Price.