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Guerrero named Blue Jays' player of the year by Toronto baseball writers' association

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks on from the dugout as they face the Seattle Mariners during ninth inning American League wild card MLB postseason baseball action in Toronto on Saturday, October 8, 2022. Guerrero Jr., had a .274 batting average, smashed 32 home runs, and won a Gold Glove for his fielding. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., was named Blue Jays player of the year on Thursday in voting by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The all-star first baseman had a .274 batting average, smashed 32 home runs, and won a Gold Glove for his fielding.

Alek Manoah was named pitcher of the year and right-hander Ross Stripling was named most improved player. 

Manoah earned a 16-7 record in his first all-star season with 180 strikeouts and a 2.24 earned-run average over 196 2/3 innings pitched.

Stripling, who has spent most of his career as a long reliever, stepped into Toronto's starting rotation and posted a 10-4 record and a 3.01 ERA, both career bests. He also had 111 strikeouts.

Broadcaster Buck Martinez and first base coach Mark Budzinski were named co-winners of the John Cerutti Award. The honour is presented annually to those who display goodwill, co-operation, and character.

Martinez, 73, stepped away from the broadcasting booth in mid-April after being diagnosed with cancer. He returned on July 26 after he completed his treatment for the disease.

His ties to the Blue Jays date back to 1981 when he started a six-year stint as one of the team's catchers.

Budzinski, Toronto's first base coach, lost his 17-year-old daughter Julia to a fatal tubing accident on the James River in Richmond, Va., on July 2.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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