Nationals first year closer Drew Storen finished the 2011 season third in the standings for the Rolaids Relief Man Award, given annually to the top reliever in each league. The award has been given out each year since 1976 and while it receives far less fanfare than the Cy Young Award, it is still considered to be a remarkable achievement to win. Storen appeared in 73 games, pitching 75.1 innings (more than any other closer in baseball aside from Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel) while posting a 6-3 record, 43 saves, and a 2.75 ERA.
The Rolaids Relief Man Award, which ultimately was won this year by Milwaukee’s John Axford, is entirely based upon a points system which awards points for wins, saves, and ‘tough saves’ while deducting points for losses and blown saves. I have to admit, while I’ve known of the award’s existence for many years I was never aware that the winner was determined purely based on upon the point system. I was always under the impression that it was voted upon through the same processes the BBWAA takes in voting on all other year-ending awards. Either way, congrats to Storen on a solid season and for some deserved recognition.