DEE-fense! DEE-fense! Five Royals are Gold Glove finalists
OCT 25, 2013 11:37a ET
Rawlings made the announcement Friday morning that shortstop Alcides Escobar, left fielder Alex Gordon, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer are among the finalists to win Gold Gloves. The winners will be announced on ESPN2 on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Only Baltimore, with six, had more finalists in the American League than the Royals.
"When you play in a ballpark the size of ours," general manager Dayton Moore told me toward the season's end, "you simply have to be able to play sound defense. We feel it is our strength, and it has to be."
The Royals never have had more than two Gold Glove winners in one season: Al Cowens and Frank White were winners in 1977, while Bob Boone and Bret Saberhagen won in 1989.
Gordon will be aiming for his third straight Gold Glove, while Cain, Escobar, Perez and Hosmer are hoping for their first. Gordon also likely will become just the second Royals outfielder ever to win the award three times: Amos Otis won it in 1971, 1973 and 1974.
Rawlings also announced that for the first time there will be a sabermetric component to the selection process. The SABR Defensive Index will be a combination of several different defensive metrics, and will constitute about 25 percent of the final vote. Managers and coaches will account for the rest of the voting total.
One of the defensive metrics to be used will be runs saved, and that should favor Gordon, who is competing with Yoenis Cespedes ( Oakland) and Andy Dirks ( Detroit) for the award. Gordon led all left fielders with 16 runs saved this season, according to fangraphs.com.
Perez, competing with Joe Mauer ( Minnesota) and Matt Wieters (Baltimore), led all AL catchers with 11 runs saved.
Escobar, hoping to become the first Royals shortstop ever to win a Gold Glove, is competing with Yunel Escobar ( Tampa Bay) and J.J. Hardy (Baltimore). Both Alcides and Yunel Escobar finished with four defensive runs saved, while Hardy had eight.
Hosmer also is hoping to become the first Royals first baseman ever receive to a Gold Glove. He is competing with Chris Davis (Baltimore) and James Loney (Tampa Bay). Hosmer had three defensive runs saved this season while Loney had four, and Davis was at minus-7.
Cain dazzled Royals fans this season with numerous circus catches in center field. He finished with 24 runs saved, far better than the other finalists -- Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury (13 runs saved) and Baltimore's Adam Jones (minus-2).
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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