Zack Greinke, who has won six consecutive Gold Gloves, was not named a finalist this year. He played error-free ball but tallied only one defensive run saved, making this the first season he’s compiled fewer than four defensive runs saved since 2007. Should he have made it ahead of the three finalists?
The Angels’ Griffin Canning made one error for a .938 fielding percentage but totaled three defensive runs saved. Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda had one error for a .923 fielding percentage with one defensive run saved. Cleveland’s Zach Plesac made no errors and compiled two defensive runs saved in only eight starts. I would argue Greinke had a better year than Maeda, but Canning and Plesac have legitimate claims to the award.
Martin Maldonado was the heartbeat of the Astros defense this year, not just for his catching and throwing but also for his handling of the pitching staff and his durability. Unfortunately those last two don’t really factor into the mix here, but how did he do numbers-wise? In 46 starts, he made two errors for a .995 fielding percentage, tallied zero defensive runs saved and threw out 32 percent of base stealers.
Chicago’s Yasmani Grandal made 32 starts, committed two errors for a .993 fielding percentage, tallied five defensive runs saved and threw out 46 percent of base stealers. Chicago’s James McCann made 27 starts, committed four errors for a .985 fielding percentage, totaled five defensive runs saved and threw out 33 percent of base stealers. Cleveland’s Roberto Perez did not make an error in 30 starts, totaled six defensive runs saved and threw out a whopping 71 percent of base stealers, which was the best in the major leagues.
So from a sheer numbers standpoint, Maldonado wasn’t going to win. You could make a case he’s more deserving than McCann due to the extra errors, but Perez looks like a shoo-in to win his second consecutive Gold Glove. Still, that doesn’t take away from what Maldonado means to this Astros team.