Pitcher Bruce Chen named winner of 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award

Chen1.jpgThe Royals have announced that left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen was selected as the 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.  The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).  The award goes to an unsung player who contributed above and beyond what was expected, or someone who the writers felt deserved some recognition for an outstanding season.  Chen becomes the first Royals player not on the Spring Training 40-man roster to win the award since 1995 when infielder Keith Lockhart began the strike-altered season in the minor leagues with Omaha.

Chen_shutout2.jpgThe 33-year-old Chen began 2010 as a non-roster invite to Spring Training and concludes the season as the 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner after leading the club in wins with a 12-7 record.  He finished the campaign with a 4.17 ERA in 33 appearances, including 23 starts, and also added a save.  The win total fell one shy of his career high of 13 set in 2005 with Baltimore.  He finished with the most wins by a Royals lefty since Charlie Leibrandt and Floyd Bannister posted 13 and 12 victories, respectively, in 1988.  A native of Panama, Chen capped his sensational comeback season by tossing his first career shutout in his final start on October 1, posting a two-hitter in a 7-0 win over the A.L. East Champion Tampa Bay Rays.

Congrats to Bruce!  We’ll be sitting in on a conference call with him later today, and will bring you a recap.

The Royals plan to announce the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year tomorrow and the 2010 Les Milgram Player of the Year on Monday, November 9.

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