Avila, Cabrera, Kinsler named AL Gold Glove finalists

The Tigers haven’t had a Gold Glove winner since Placido Polanco in 2009. They might have their best chance in the five years since to break the drought.

Catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Miguel Cabrera and second baseman Ian Kinsler were named finalists at their respective positions for the American League Gold Glove awards. The winners will be revealed at 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 4 on ESPN2. None has won a Gold Glove in their careers, though Avila has been nominated two other times since the award went to a finalist format in 2011.

Gold Glove Award nominations are based 75 percent on voting by AL coaches and managers and 25 percent on defensive metrics, specifically a formula developed by SABR last year to help the process. The SABR Defensive Index takes into account Defensive Runs Saved, Ultimate Zone Rating and Runs Effectively Defended.

For the Tigers, whose defense has been a perennial question each offseason, this year marks the highest number of finalists they’ve had under the current system, but their chances aren’t simply about the quantity of candidates. Especially with Kinsler’s season at second base, Detroit has a legitimate chance to end their search for gold.

While Detroit’s infield defense was a frequent point of scrutiny during the season, Kinsler not only stabilized his position, he put up the best metrics the Tigers have seen at second since Polanco left town. Under Defensive Runs Saved, a statistic created by The Fielding Bible to measure plays a defender makes compared to plays his peers would make, Kinsler’s plus-20 rating this year not only topped all Major League second baseman, but all AL infielders as well.

Under the better-known Ultimate Zone Rating, an effort to measure the number of plays a defender makes within his defensive zone, Kinsler’s 13 UZR ranked second at his spot behind three-time AL Gold Glove winner Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia and Robinson Cano, who have alternated Gold Gloves for the past four years, are the other two finalists at second base. Polanco is the last AL second baseman other than those two to win, though Kinsler has been nominated once before.

Avila has been a frequent candidate based in large part on his success at throwing out would-be basestealers, and this season was no exception. After a down year last season, his caught-stealing rate of 34 percent (36-of-107) ranked fourth-best among Major League catchers with at least 100 starts behind the plate, and second in the AL to Brian McCann.

This year, however, Avila bolstered his case with a better all-around performance. Despite topping 1000 innings caught for the first time since 2011, he set career bests with just three passed balls and 23 wild pitches. His five defensive runs saved ranked second among AL catchers behind defending AL Gold Glove winner Salvador Perez.

Perez, not surprisingly, joins Avila among the finalists, as does Cleveland’s Yan Gomes.

The surprise among the group is Cabrera, who went from one of the worst-rated third baseman in the game to a relatively effective first baseman. His 4.3 UZR ranked fourth among AL players at his position, while his minus-one rating on defensive runs saved ranked sixth. His competition includes Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer, who won last year’s Gold Glove at first, and the Angels’ Albert Pujols, a two-time winner in the National League. No Tigers first baseman has ever won a Gold Glove.

18 Comments

The metrics used:
http://sabr.org/sdi/2014-09-07#AL1B
Miguel was the leader until mid August

who are the other two finalists at first base.

I have good feeling about this year’s infield defense. its hard to remember, but runs saved on defense are just as good as runs earned on offense, only more affordable and often more dependable.

2014, minus 65. Fueled by Castellanos 30 and Hunter 18. Iglesias should help, if healthy( big if). Suarez -5 ( at least he can bat WAR 0.7 thanks to his bat), Romine -4( WAR 0)

ELT: 1) why a ‘big’ if? 2) Jose can be assumed to something between 0.5-2WAR, is that safe to say?

Past experience, from Washburn and Bondo to Iglesias ( Injured when traded, including that they had no idea about Fielder´s injury.
I’ll believe he is healthy when I see him taking his first AB ( probably, 9th spot)
And I will be more surprised if he can hit at all.
i hope they have a plan B this time

Do you think that Jose may not be healthy? I presume he will be fit as a fiddle.

Heyman:” Finally figured out whats causing the offensive woes around baseball. It’s obviously bad hitting coaches” So, if they are so irrelevant, why carry them?Or two like the Tigers. If managers, coaches have no incidence in the game why hire that many?

The NYT will have publish an article about the low rating of the WSt of a trend.
Probably, about how TV has gone the way of traditional newspapers and have now a reduced share of the market. It is not only baseball getting low ratings

Many people do not have cable or they have very limited cable and internet. I had to search to find out what channel the games were being broadcast on.

Ian Kinsler played a terrifc 2nd base ans particularly adept at running backhand plays which are the toughest for 2nd basemen. Handled the DP well and generally poplups down the line. He hit well enough for consideration. (Let’s face it, that IS part of a Golden Glove). He has a chance.
Avila did not hit enough.
Miggy played well but no way he beats out Hosmer who is every bit as good as Teixiera was.
Read somewhere that a writer felt Miggy was no better than Prince at 1st. I strongly disagree. Miggy was significantly better at digging out throws and fielding ground balls.

Here is the article: baseball and media.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/sports/baseball/world-series-2014-baseball-is-no-longer-center-of-attention-in-new-landscape.html
No way, I watch a program that will be rebroadcasted once and again instead of the WS, especially bad ones.
Im a baseball fan ,I watch the games no matter the teams(most of the time, I would not watch St- KC, unlike the last time I cant root for KC)
Local focus? well,ESPN could cover more players than their darling Trout
Moustakas is not Brett but Bumgarner is well above Black or Saberhagen,in the level of Tudor or Andujar.
Fox rooting for the previous winner to lose? not good, because , fans could misinterpret that as some conspiracy to increase ratings
1978? of course, a 163 game between Boston and Yankees served as an appetitive to the rematch between the real rivals in MLB and had Welch vs Jackson

With 8 Venezuelans involved, the WS is an event here. Every year is, but this year is a huge event and was even bigger in 2012.

Jason at twitter, Miguel had surgery. It seems he wont begin his physical program until late January

I’ve been reading that baseball isn’t as important as it used to be since the 1960s. The usual comparison is to football. An NFL champion plays 20 games, a baseball champion up to 188. Apples and oranges.
The WS also used to be a huge event as it pitted the best of both leagues. That is no longer the case. The postseason is yet another elimination tournament.
They should just take the overall viewership for the entire postseason.

have no idea how Yan Gomes is being considered for Gold Glove. can anyone explain?

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