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Last season, Matthew Boyd’s name was mentioned in rare Detroit Tigers air, more than once surpassing strikeout milestones set by fellow left-hander Mickey Lolich in the 1960s and 70s.
Now, Boyd has joined Lolich as one of only two left-handed starting pitchers to win the Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Tiger of the Year Award.
Boyd was announced as the 2019 winner on Thursday afternoon.
In 32 starts, Boyd went 9-12 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.230 WHIP in 185⅓ innings. Boyd struck out 238 batters, smashing his career-high with 11.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings.
What began as a breakout season stalled in the second half, and nearly all of Boyd’s cumulative season statistics – strikeouts outstanding – took a dip. The 39 home runs he allowed ranked first in the American League.
Still, Boyd was clearly the best of a very bad Tigers bunch – the team went 47-114, the worst record in the major leagues. In his best season to date, Boyd established himself as a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, one who likely will be discussed in trade negotiations this winter and into next season.
Boyd, 28, is in his second season of salary arbitration this winter. He is projected to earn $6.4 million by MLBTradeRumors.com, the industry’s authoritative voice on the subject.
In 2018, Boyd and his wife, Ashley, started Kingdom Home, a non-profit to benefit Ugandan children at risk of sex trafficking.