Rays in running for several GIBBY Awards

Rays in running for several GIBBY Awards

ST. PETERSBURG -- Once again, the Rays will be well represented in the 11th Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards, with nominations for Pitcher, Setup Man, Closer, Comeback Player and Top Play.

Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2012 GIBBYs trophies -- the ultimate honors of the sport's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.

This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 21 categories. Individual honors will be given for top Hitter, Starting Pitcher, Setup Man, Rookie, Breakout Hitter, Breakout Pitcher, Comeback Player and Closer. Balloting also will determine the GIBBY winners for Postseason MVP, Defensive Player, Manager and Executive.

The year's top Storyline, Hitting Performance, Pitching Performance, Play, Walk-off, Oddity, Cut4 Topic and Postseason Moment also will be honored. The nominees come with supporting video evidence, courtesy of MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

In the past four years, you the fans have cast more than 40 million votes across the various GIBBYs categories, none of which were restricted to individual league affiliation.

Fans can vote as many times as they want until balloting closes on Dec. 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 4.

David Price, who is up for Top Pitcher, had his best season in the Major Leagues in 2012, going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA.

Fernando Rodney has already been voted Closer of the Year by a panel of experts after posting the lowest ERA (0.60) for any hurler in history with at least 50 innings pitched. The right-hander is also nominated for Comeback Player after alloing just five earned runs in 74 2/3 innings, notching 48 saves.

Rodney is involved in a three-man race with Giants catcher Buster Posey and White Sox slugger Adam Dunn in the Comeback Player category.

Joel Peralta, who has effectively worked as the Rays' setup man the past two seasons, is nominated in the Setup Man category, and a quirky, but skillful play in Toronto has been nominated for the Top Play award.

Rays fans won't soon forget the play that took place on Sept. 1, when B.J. Upton threw a strike to Jose Molina at the plate to nail Omar Vizquel for the game's final out. Vizquel represented the potential tying run, and oddly enough, the play came a day after Tampa Bay had lost when Elliot Johnson got thrown out for the final out of the game while trying to score the winning run.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.