Phillies History: Taking a Look Back on Phillies Cy Young Winners
By John Town
1983 Cy Young Winner John Denny
The Phillies had a Cy Young Award winner for the third time in four seasons in 1983, with John Denny taking home the award as opposed to Carlton. Carlton’s 16 losses left a sour taste in the voter’s mouths as he did not appear on his single ballot. However, Carlton actually led all pitchers in fWAR with 7.4 and came second in FIP with 2.65. If Carlton had a season like that now, he would certainly be a contender for the award.
Instead, Denny’s .760 win percentage led the league as he secured 19 wins that year. His 0.3 home runs per nine innings was Denny’s lone other league-leading stat.
Overall, Denny finished 1983 with a 2.37 ERA, seven complete games, including one shutout, just 53 walks in 242.2 innings, and a 1.162 WHIP.
Denny, a former Cardinal like Carlton, came over to the Phillies from Cleveland in 1982 in a midseason trade. He once led the league with a 2.52 ERA in 1976, but regressed the next few years. Denny finished with a four-plus ERA in five of the six seasons prior to his Cy Young campaign.
Denny put together another solid season in 1984 – he finished the season with a 149 ERA+ and 0.978 WHIP – but he fell back to earth in 1985. His final record that year was 11-14 as he posted a 3.82 ERA and 1.452 WHIP. The Phillies traded Denny to Cincinnati after the season, where he lasted just one year before hanging up his cleats.