The Rawlings Gold Glove finalists are out, and, for the first time in a little while, there are no Chicago Cubs on the list.
Here they are:
Mark Buehrle, Felix Hernandez, Dallas Keuchel
Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright
Salvador Perez, Alex Avila, Yan Gomes
Jonathan Lucroy, Russell Martin, Yadier Molina
AL First Base
Miguel Cabrera, Eric Hosmer, Albert Pujols
NL First Base
Adrian Gonzalez, Adam LaRoche, Justin Morneau
AL Second Base
Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler
NL Second Base
Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley, DJ Lemahieu
AL Third Base
Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Kyle Seager
NL Third Base
Nolan Arenado, Pablo Sandoval, Juan Uribe
Alcides Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Alexei Ramirez
Zack Cozart, Adeiny Hechavarria, Andrelton Simmons
AL Left Field
Michael Brantley, Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon
NL Left Field
Starling Marte, Justin Upton, Christian Yelich
AL Center Field
Jackie Bradley Jr., Adam Eaton, Adam Jones
NL Center Field
Billy Hamilton, Juan Lagares, Denard Span
AL Right Field
Kole Calhoun, Kevin Kiermaier, Nick Markakis
NL Right Field
Jason Heyward, Gerardo Parra, Giancarlo Stanton
You’ll notice the usual spillover of offense into the finalists (which are made up of votes from managers/coaches (75%) and SABR (25%)). But one spot where there clearly wasn’t offensive spillover was at first base, which was the only realistic shot the Cubs had at a Gold Glove finalist.
Did Anthony Rizzo deserve to be in the top three? Well, you can look at the defensive leaders at first base this year, and see what you can ferret out from the advanced statistics. By UZR/150, Rizzo was the best defensive first baseman in the NL. Justin Morneau, one of the finalists, was second. Adrian Gonzalez, another finalist, was third. Adam LaRoche, the third finalist … was dead last. Indeed, he was also dead last in total defensive value, per FanGraphs, where Rizzo trailed only Morneau. Rizzo had more errors (9) than the other three (Morneau, 4, and Gonzalez and LaRoche, 7) … but who cares? We all know that’s a poor way to evaluate defensive value. By Defensive Runs Saved, Rizzo (6) trailed Matt Adams (8), Justin Morneau (8), and Adrian Gonzalez (12).
I won’t pretend to have enough eyes-on experience with the other guys to tell you much beyond the numbers, but it sure looks like Rizzo got screwed here. Gonzalez and Morneau look like fair selections, but LaRoche is a total head-scratcher.
The winners are announced Thursday, November 4.