Adrian Gonzalez won his fourth career Gold Glove award yesterday. The Dodgers first baseman added to his resume today.
Gonzalez was named the Wilson defensive first baseman of the year, and Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe was named the Wilson defensive third baseman of the year.
Uribe also won the award last year. Unlike the Gold Glove awards (but like the Fielding Bible Awards), the Wilson awards cover both leagues.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Zack Greinke won Gold Glove Awards at their positions Tuesday.
Greinke, 31, had never won a Gold Glove award before in his career. Greinke made one error in 59 chances this season, a .983 fielding percentage.
Gonzalez had won the award three times before in his career, twice with the San Diego Padres and once with the Boston Red Sox. No Dodgers first baseman had won a Gold Glove award since Steve Garvey in 1977.
Gonzalez gets an additional $100,000 from the Dodgers for winning the award, part of a bonus clause that was written into his 2012 contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Juan Uribe was a finalist for a Gold Glove award at third base. He fell short in the balloting to defending winner Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was a finalist to win the award along with Greinke.
Juan Uribe is a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award at third base, along with Nolan Arenado and Pablo Sandoval. (Getty Images)
has never won a Gold Glove Award in his career.
If you tend to think in absolutes, such as “Juan Uribe is absolutely the best defensive third baseman in the National League,” that might be hard to believe. If you do not, and you acknowledge that the Gold Glove Awards can be biased and subjective (Rafael Palmeiro won one on the basis of his 28 games played at first base in 1999), it starts to make sense.
In defense of the award selection process, it’s really hard to appreciate a player’s fielding ability over the course of a typical three-game series. When you see a batter swing, you get a sense for his strengths and weaknesses with a bat. At the least, you can watch an at-bat and might get some sense of his plate discipline. However, three games won’t necessarily allow you to see him field a ball, let alone make a tough play. One series, a guy might look like the best fielder on the planet. The next, he might look like Hanley Ramirez. Also, there’s no telling if the player was fully healthy during the three-game series you watched.
The majority of Gold Glove Award determination is done by a manager’s vote. Since he can’t vote for his own players, the observations he collects — one series at a time — matter quite a bit. It’s 75 percent of the final vote. The other 25 percent is determined by something called the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), a statistic invented specifically for the purpose of Gold Glove Award voting. Don Mattingly has said that all managers can see this stat for all players before they vote.
I don’t have that number with me right now, though Uribe was second among NL third basemen in the most recent SDI rankings in September. There are still quite a few stats we can draw from. Upon closer inspection, it’s a surprise Uribe hasn’t won a Gold Glove Award yet.