Awards season has begun! …yay? Tonight kicked things off with the presentation of the Gold Glove winners, along with the revealing of the Cy Young and MVP “finalists” (the top 3) for each league.
Gold glove awards are generally useless (Derek Jeter won three), but it’s still fun to see Dodger players get recognized for their efforts. We’ll go further into depth on each player’s particular review, but here are a few highlights.
Adrian Gonzalez won the gold glove award at first base. He didn’t really have a signature play that I can think of, but first basemen rarely do. He is excellent at fielding errant throws, and his best defensive quality may be that he just doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s steady and dependable. Let’s not forget about this play in Arizona, though:
Zack Greinke won the gold glove for national league pitchers. Pitcher defense is extremely difficult to quantify, so it’s kind of hard to judge if Clayton Kershaw (another nominee at the position) deserved the award more. Greinke certainly looks the part when he’s on the mound, though. This is without even accounting for philosophical questions, like if controlling the running game deserves credit (and if this gives too much credit to left-handed pitchers). Still, it gives us a chance to look at this play, perhaps my favorite Dodger defensive moment of the year:
Greinke anticipates the bunt situation, throws an eephus pitch, then catches the runner between second and third by fielding the pop-up near his shoetops. It’s such a brilliant play, and while it’s not as flashy as Kershaw’s diving catch in Milwaukee, I just can’t stop watching it.
Juan Uribe was nominated at third base, though he lost to Nolan Arenado for the second consecutive year. Uribe is a fantastic defender, but Arenado is just amazing. It’s hard to complain about this one.
MVP and Cy Young Award nominees (the top three finishers) were also announced tonight. Clayton Kershaw was nominated for both, as expected. Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto will fight for second place in Cy Young voting. The MVP award will be much closer. Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen are the other two nominees. I would have voted for Kershaw (and I don’t think it’s particularly close), though the BBWAA has been extremely hesitant to vote for pitchers in the past. The Cy Young award will be announced on November 12th, and the MVP award will be announced on the 13th.
Kershaw also took home some other hardware yesterday, winning the inaugural Fangraphs player of the year award, as well as three Players Choice awards (the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, National League Outstanding Pitcher, and MLB Player of the Year). None of these are important compared to what will be announced next week.