Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco and Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson have been named, respectively, AL and NL Comeback Player of the Year.
Carrasco, 32, was diagnosed with leukemia in early June and he missed three months of the 2019 regular season after making his final start on May 30 against the White Sox. The right-hander returned the mound following treatment, and completed a rehab assignment with the Indians’ Double-A and Triple-A clubs. On Sept. 1, Carrasco made his return to the Major Leagues where he tossed one inning of relief against the Rays, and received a standing ovation on the road.
During the final month of the regular season, Carrasco made 11 appearances out of the bullpen to finish the season at 6-7 with a 5.29 ERA. As a relief pitcher, Carrasco went 2-1 with one save and a 6.60 ERA. At the 2019 World Series in Washington D.C., Carrasco received the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award.
As for Donaldson, he played in 155 games for the Braves in 2019 after playing in just 52 games the season before due to injuries. Donaldson, who turns 34 in December, hit .259/.379/.521 with an OPS of .900 to go along with 37 home runs, 94 RBI and 33 doubles. His 37 homers tied for the second-highest total of his nine-year long MLB career (2016), and trailed only his 2015 AL MVP campaign in which he collected 41 home runs. The veteran also provided reliable defense at the hot corner, and helped lead the Braves to their second consecutive NL East title.
Each team has one player nominated for the Comeback Player of the Year award, and from those 30 candidates the beat reporters from MLB.com select a winner for each league. David Price (Red Sox) and Jonny Venters (Braves) won the honor last year.
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