Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 11/2/11

Last night, ESPN hosted the Rawlings Gold Glove awards show, showcasing all of the defensive greats of position players chosen by MLB managers and players. The voting stipulation was that managers and players could not vote for the nominee from their own club. I know most of the nominees who won deserved it, but some of the runner-ups may have deserved it more.

In the catcher’s catagory, Yadier Molina and Carlos Ruiz were the two favorites this season. Carlos Ruiz played 132 games this season, 7 under Molina’s 139. Carlos Ruiz, 2008 World Series Champion, caught every hard slider from Brad Lidge. Behind the plate for two Roy Halladay no-hitters, one of them, a perfect game. Though his offensive numbers do not rank high among catchers, “Chooch” can be clutch when you really need it.

With Yadier Molina, you have a two-time World Series Champion, a great defensive catcher with a great arm and accurate precision. The three-time All-Star has won three Gold Glove Awards before this year’s. Molina is a great catcher, one of the best in the game today. I am not dogging Molina, but I think Chooch was great defensively. Molina’s postseason performance was outstanding. If there were two Gold Glove Award winners, both Chooch and
“Yadi” would take them.

Molina had 6 errors this season (5 behind the plate) while Chooch faulted only 4 errors. I know it’s just 2 errors, but being a catcher and needing to make some of the most important plays of the game, you have to be sharp. Ruiz has a point over Molina in fielding percentage with .996, barely beating Molina’s .995.

Rtot (Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average) is the number of runs above or below average the player was worth in the field. When the Rtot comes into play, Ruiz is beaten out by Molina 6 to 3. Chooch may not be able to throw out a runner like Molina does, but he is still in my opinion a more agile catcher and is very good at stopping pitches.

With Shane Victorino’s new Twitter surge, he also surged during the season. The reigning three time Gold Glove Award winner (2008, 2009, 2010) put up a .271 avg., that once was at .302, hitting 17 HR, 16 triples, and 61 RBI. In the Gold Glove’s center fielder’s catagory, Victorino and Dodger’s Matt Kemp led the NL. It's a little odd that the voters chose to give the award to Kemp. He made five errors in center this year compared to Victorino’s none.

Victorino is more versatile than Kemp and has great speed. Victorino’s UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) is at -4.6 while Kemp’s is also -4.6. D-back’s center fielder Chris Young had a league high 14.1 UZR and led the league in center field defense along with Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez, and Cameron. If Victorino nor Kemp won, maybe one those three should have.

The only Phillie to win an award so far is the Phillies’ third baseman. Placido Polanco won his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award, his first at third base. Polanco won two with the Detroit Tigers (2007, 2009) at second base, making him only the second baseball player in history to receive the award at more then one position (the other being Darin Erstad).

These are just the first set of baseball awards to be announced this offseason. Here’s the schedule for the BBWAA 2011 Awards.  


Monday, Nov. 14: AL & NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards.

Tuesday, Nov. 15: AL Cy Young Award.

Wednesday, Nov. 16: AL & NL Manager of the Year Awards.

Thursday, Nov. 17: NL Cy Young Award.

Monday, Nov. 21: AL Most Valuable Player Award.

Tuesday, Nov. 22: NL Most Valuable Player Award.

 

It doesn’t look likely that a Phillie will win the NL MVP Award--none of their offensive numbers match those of Pujols, Braun and Kemp. The Phillies did live up to their pitching rotation duty this regular season with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels all putting together very good seasons.

In the NL Cy Young race, the best pitchers in the game are competing for the award. While it looked like Halladay would take the award during the first half of the year, some strong second halfs around the league made this one come down to the wire. Roy Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and 220 strikeouts while Cliff Lee went 17-8, 2.40 ERA and 238 strikeouts this season. The by Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (21-5, 2.28 ERA) and D-back’s Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88 ERA) could pose a threat for the two Phillies’ aces.

In recent seasons, the Phillies have taken many awards, some of the most prestigious including Roy Halladay and his 2010 NL Cy Young Award. Along with Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins’ back-to-back MVP seasons in 2006 & 2007, and the six total Gold Glove Awards between Rollins and Shane Victorino. With the rest of the awards yet to be announced, the best chance of the Phillies player to get an award will lie with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Erik Seybold is a contributor for Buzz On Broad.  You can follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI

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