Teams that lose 94 games are seldom loaded with high achievers. That goes for the 2012 Indians.
However, the Tribe relief corps excelled from the start of the schedule to the end. In particular, closer Chris Perez and setup man Vinnie Pestano were especially lethal.
Perez converted 39-of-43 saves, his contributions being easily quantified. It is not so easy to measure the contributions of a setup man, but those who watched Pestano all season were impressed by his consistent — usually dominating — performance level.
For that reason, Pestano was named Indians Man of the Year by the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
In addition, the chapter annually gives its Good Guy Award to the individual who demonstrates the keenest ability and willingness to cooperate with the media. This year’s winner is former manager Manny Acta.
Pestano posted a 3-3 record with two saves and a 2.57 earned-run average in 70 appearances. In 70 innings, Pestano walked 24, struck out 76 and compiled a .207 batting average against. Right-handed batters hit .168 against him, lefties .241. With runners in scoring position, batters hit only .194 against Pestano.
Before falling into a minor slump the last month of the season, he posted a .208 ERA. That was only one indication of his consistency.
During a stretch of 27 appearances, Pestano gave up only one run. Included in that span were 19 scoreless outings in a row. He also struck out at last one batter in 21 consecutive games.
Also nominated for the Man of the Year Award were Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Asdrubal Cabrera and Perez.
Acta, who was fired before season’s end, was unfailingly cooperative. Not only was he accommodating with his time, Acta was candid and honest in answering tough questions.
His dealings with the press were all the more impressive as the season wore on, as the club sank into a deep slump and the pressure mounted on Acta and his staff.
Justin Masterson, Shelley Duncan and bench coach Sandy Alomar also were nominated, but Acta was selected unanimously.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.