Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the Reliever of the Year awards on Saturday ahead of Game 4 of the World Series. The Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year is Liam Hendriks of the Athletics while the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year is Devin Williams of the Brewers.
Hendriks was the runner-up in 2019 to Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees and there's an argument he should've won the honor a season ago. No matter, the 2020 award is Hendriks'. He saved 14 games in 15 chances with a 1.78 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 37 strikeouts against two unintentional walks in 25 1/3 innings, helping the A's to the AL West title.
"Honored is an understatement," said Hendriks. "It's humbling to win an award that bears the name of the greatest closer in history. I'm extremely thankful to my teammates. If they weren't behind me on the field, I wouldn't be half the pitcher I am today. A huge thank you to the bullpen for sharing years of invaluable advice and experience with me. Thank you to the coaching staff and the entire organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play in the green and gold."
Williams keeps the award in the Milwaukee bullpen, as Josh Hader won in both 2018 and 2019. Williams pitched to a microscopic 0.33 ERA and 0.63 WHIP with 53 strikeouts against nine walks in 27 innings. He was a big reason the Brewers were able to secure the No. 8 seed in the NL despite lots of other problems.
"I am very excited to earn NL Reliever of the Year and have this prestigious award remain with the Brewers for a third straight season," said Williams. "I want to thank the organization – particularly my manager, coaches and teammates – for all of the support. I also thank the great Brewers fans, who were watching and cheering us on from home during this unique season."
During the World Series, MLB also typically announces:
- The Hank Aaron Award, given to the best hitter in each league.
- The Roberto Clemente Award, given "to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."
We'll update things once those winners are announced.