Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke had a part in eight double plays this season, which led all major-league pitchers. (Getty Images)
We’ll begin today’s analysis with some of the basic fielding numbers for Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, who is looking for his first career Gold Glove Award this season. He made one error in 59 chances, a .983 fielding percentage. The error (on an attempted pickoff throw to first base) did not factor in the outcome of the game, an 8-4 Dodgers win in Chicago.
Greinke finished seventh in the National League with 30 assists, one fewer than teammate Clayton Kershaw. Greinke was credited with starting five double plays this season — second in the National League — and finishing three. No other pitcher in MLB had a hand in more double plays this season. Why was Greinke involved in so many fielding plays this season? We’ll get to that in a minute.
Onto the advanced stuff.
Clayton Kershaw is a finalist for a National League Gold Glove Award, which he won for the only time in 2011. (Associated Press photo)
Dodger pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Juan Uribe are finalists for National League Gold Glove awards.
The quartet was announced Thursday by Rawlings, the equipment maker which sponsors the award. Winners will be revealed on ESPN2 Nov. 4. The winners have already been chosen; the three finalists at each position are really the top three vote-getters.
We’ll have a bit more on each player’s credentials in a bit. Here’s the full list of NL Gold Glove Award finalists:
Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter and 41 consecutive scoreless innings in 2014. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw
is Baseball America’s Major League Player of the Year for 2014.
The honor doesn’t come with a physical award, but it does come with a snazzy magazine cover article. Here’s a snippet:
Kershaw has positioned himself to do what might be regarded as borderline heretical: surpass Sandy Koufax as greatest pitcher in Dodgers history.
Koufax was 26 when he embarked on five magnificent seasons. He led the NL in ERA each season from 1962-66, winning three Cy Young trophies and one MVP award. He retired at age 30, because of an arthritic elbow.
Kershaw is 26 now, poised to win his third Cy Young Award, and the MVP too.
Clayton Kershaw went 21-3 with a 1.77 earned-run average for the Dodgers in 2014. (Getty Images)
is a finalist for the most prestigious of the Players Choice Awards, the marginally prestigious end-of-year honors bestowed by the MLB Players’ Association.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez led the majors in runs batted in with 116, and led the Dodgers with 27 home runs. (Associated Press photo)
Adrian Gonzalez is the Dodgers’ nominee for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award.
The award, sanctioned by Major League Baseball, has recognized “the most outstanding offensive performer” in each League since it was established in 1999.
Gonzalez led the Majors with 116 RBIs, the first Dodger to do so since Matt Kemp in 2011, while batting .276 and leading the Dodgers with 41 doubles (3rd, NL) and 27 home runs (6th, NL) in 159 games.
Fans can vote for the award online. Sorry, no paper ballots.
A special panel of Hall of Fame players, including the 80-year-old Aaron, will join fans in voting for the award.
Here’s more from MLB’s press release on Gonzalez:
Joc Pederson hit 33 home runs and stole 30 bases for Triple-A Albuquerque this season. (Getty Images)
The Dodgers chose Julio Urias, 18, as their Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year on Friday. Infielder Corey Seager and outfielder Joc Pederson were chosen as co-Minor League Players of the Year.
The three players, widely regarded as the top three prospects in the organization, will all be at Dodger Stadium to be honored in a pregame ceremony tonight. Pederson will be in uniform because he was promoted to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on Sept. 1.
Urias had been taking part in the Arizona Instructional League. The 18-year-old left-hander spent the entire season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and went 2-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 25 games (20 starts), and a 1.20 ERA (6 ER/45.0 IP) in 12 games (10 starts) after the All-Star break.
Seager, who turned 20 on April 27, was selected to Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star Team, batting a combined .349 with a minor league-best 50 doubles, five triples, 20 homers, the second-most extra-base hits in the minors (75) and 97 RBI in 118 games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga in his third professional season.
Pederson, 22, was also the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year in 2012. In his first full season at Triple-A, he produced the fourth 30-home run/30-stolen base campaign in Pacific Coast League history.
Clayton Kershaw, left, playing ping pong with Neil Patrick Harris, has raised money for a Zambian orphanage through his annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose event. (courtesy of the Jimmy Kimmel show)
Clayton Kershaw was chosen as the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award today. Kershaw won the award in 2012.
Each team nominates one player to be considered for the award in an effort to pay tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing “current players who truly understand the value of helping others.”
Here’s more from MLB’s press release:
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is one of six finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is given to a player that inspires others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities.
The other finalists are Carlos Beltran, Max Scherzer, Josh Hamilton, Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rizzo.
More from the MLBPA’s press release:
First inspired by their relationship with a malnourished, HIV-infected girl in Lusaka, Zambia named Hope, Clayton and his wife, Ellen, began Kershaw’s Challenge in 2011. The Challenge is to use whatever you have been blessed with – talent, passion or purpose – to give back to others. This year, Kershaw’s Challenge helped support transitional housing for homeless families in Los Angeles (The Dream Center) and a sports ministry in West Dallas (Mercy Street) in addition its ongoing work in Zambia.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has won five National League Player of the Week awards in his career. (Getty Images)
Clayton Kershaw won his second National League Player of the Week award this season, for the week ending Sunday. It’s the fifth NLPOY award of his career.
From the MLB press release:
Dodgers broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra is one of six players joining the 2015 induction class of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fane.
Carlos Delgado, Luis Gonzalez, Ozzie Guillen, Roberto Kelly and Pedro Martinez are the other inductees.
“The amount of emotion that comes over you is difficult to put into words. … The fact that I’m representing Mexico and all my aunts and uncles and relatives there … this is truly just a huge honor,” Garciaparra said in a staement.
The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame, created in 2010, is based in the Dominican Republic.
The 2015 class is comprised of two categories – modern era players (since 1970) and veterans – who will be honored during the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Week from February 5-7, 2015.