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Despite missing the last five weeks of the season, Orioles closer Felix Bautista was the unanimous choice as the American League Reliever of the Year.
Bautista, who injured his right elbow on August 25th and had Tommy John surgery last month, was 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA and 33 saves. He struck 110 batters in 61 innings, striking out multiple batters in 38 of his 56 games.
He’s the first Orioles reliever to win the award since Zack Britton in 2016.
Bautista will miss the 2024 season while recovering from the surgery.
He recorded the fastest pitch in the pitch-tracking era, which began in 2003, striking out Cincinnati’s Spencer Steer on a 103.3 mph fastball.
Bautista won Reliever of the Month in April, June and July.
Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase and Toronto’s Jordan Romano were the runners-up.
Yankees great Mariano Rivera, for whom the award is named, and five other relievers — Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, John Franco and Billy Wagner — vote on the award.
The National League award, named after Hoffman, went to Milwaukee’s Devin Williams.
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