And I’d like to point out, one glaring omission as well.
Nowadays, MLB reveals the three finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove awards. Tomorrow evening, ESPN2 will hold a half hour show (starting at 9 PM ET) revealing the winners for this year’s honors. Voting is done by each team’s manager and up to six coaches on his staff. They cannot vote for players on their own team.
The six Reds that are among the finalists are…
Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo – Arroyo won the GG in 2010. He is joined by Mark Buehrle of the Miami Marlins and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Might be hard for Arroyo to reclaim pitching’s top fielding honors as Buehrle was recently the unanimous selection as baseball’s top fielding pitcher according to the Fielding Bible Awards. Buehrle also has amassed three consecutive GGs during his three previous seasons in the AL. Last year’s NL winner: Kershaw. Hard road to toe for Bronson.
First base: Joey Votto – There’s a shot that despite missing all those games that Votto could repeat. According to Fangraphs, Votto owned the highest UZR/150 (7.5) among all NL first basemen. The other finalists, Adam LaRoche from the Nationals, ranked 2nd (5.7) while Freddie Freeman of the Braves was last (-4.2) among those that “qualify” by Fangraphs standards.
Second base: Brandon Phillips – It depends which direction you go here. With BP, you know you have a little bit of glitz sprinkled in with his extraordinary defense. With Darwin Barney of the Cubs, you have simply solid, superb defense. The other finalist, Aaron Hill of Arizona should be viewed as a long shot. I have no issue if BP is dethroned by Barney as he has turned into one sensational fielder.
Shortstop: Zack Cozart – This may have caught some off guard. Not me. I honestly fully expected Cozart to be among the final three, well, four finalists. Jose Reyes of the Marlins, Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies and Ian Desmond of the Nationals are the others. Among these four, Cozart owns the highest UZR/150 (9.0). Cozart should win. He deserves to win, but Rollins owns three. Being a previous winner speaks volumes. Hard for a rookie to win as well.
Prediction: Rollins (and I sincerely hope I’m wrong)
Center field: Drew Stubbs – For all the flack Stubbs gets for his bat, the opposite holds true of his defense. Some have thought Stubbs should already own one. Thing is, Michael Bourn of the Braves owns two from his days in Houston. The other finalist, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates doesn’t own a Gold Glove either. I think Bourn will reclaim here. His UZR/150 is simply jaw-dropping: 22.5. Stubbs was second…at 8.5. McCutchen pulled in a -7.0.
Right field: Jay Bruce – Last year the Dodger right fielder Andre Ethier took home the GG. Some giggled at that. Aside from Ethier, Atlanta’s Jason Heyward is in the final three. Honestly, Heyward should win this, but don’t be shocked if Ethier repeats. We would like Bruce to win, but 2012 was not his best defensive year. 2010 was better.
That glaring omission is that Ryan Hanigan is not among the final three for NL catcher. We all knew Yadier Molina would be. Miguel Montero of Arizona and Carlos Ruiz of Philadelphia are the other two. Hmm…
Another thing here. Hanigan (877) played in more innings than Ruiz (856.1), but less than Montero (1,190).
But to debate this might seem moot. We all know Molina will get it anyway.
Don’t be completely surprised if the Good Guys are shutout here. The one that will have Reds fans talking is if BP isn’t the winner. I still think Cozart should win at short. Doesn’t mean he will.