As the finalists for several 2019 season-long individual awards were announced Monday night, Cardinals fans recognized a familiar name among the potential winners.
It wasn't a player's name, but the name of Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.
Shildt was named as one of three finalists for the 2019 National League Manager of the Year Award. He goes up against Milwaukee's Craig Counsell and Atlanta's Brian Snitker for the award.
Of course, Shildt's Cardinals defeated Counsell's Brewers for the NL Central crown before getting the better of Snitker's Braves in the NLDS last month. The voting for the award, it should be noted, took place by members of the BBWAA before the postseason began.
Even without Shildt's October accomplishments being considered in this award race, he should stand a pretty good chance to take home the hardware on the strength of what his club was able to accomplish during the regular season.
The Cardinals returned to prominence in the standings, posting a record of 91-71 to claim their first NL Central title since 2015.
Under Shildt's guidance, the Cardinals improved substantially in the field, going from a league-most 133 errors in 2018 to a league-best 66 errors this season. Shildt also managed his bullpen to the second-best ERA in the National League in 2019, a testament to the quality of his usage of relievers throughout the season.
The winner of the Manager of the Year Award will be announced Tuesday, November 12.
No Cardinals were named finalists for NL Rookie of the Year, Cy Young or Most Valuable Player Awards. Jack Flaherty missed the cut in the Cy Young vote despite his 0.93 ERA from July 7 through the end of the regular season. Max Scherzer, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jacob deGrom were named finalists for the award.