The announcement was made yesterday of the three finalists for the Gold Glove Awards at each of the nine positions in each league, and two Oakland Athletics found themselves on that list, but not necessarily who we expected to see. It was no surprise that Josh Reddick was a finalist once again, despite his down season offensively, his reputation out in the field holds strong. The other representative for the A’s was Yoenis Cespedes in left field. He made an adjustment from his natural position in center field when he came to the A’s, and this honor validates the progress he has made over there. The notable omission from the nominees would have to be third baseman Josh Donaldson, who has garnered quite the reputation for his work at the hot corner, but it appears his work hasn’t quite caught the eye of the entire league.
I’ve crushed Josh Reddick for the better part of the last year for his struggles at the plate, but none of that seemed to have affected his skills in the outfield. He may not have overwhelmed the world by throwing out runner after runner, but that may be simply because they’re starting to learn not to test him. Criticizing him for having fewer assists is like criticizing and NFL cornerback for having fewer interceptions when quarterbacks simply avoid throwing the ball in their direction. Reddick is opposed by Shane Victorino of the Bostron Red Sox and Nick Markakis of the Baltimore Orioles this time around, Victorino seems like the presumed favorite this time around.
Cespedes didn’t put out the MVP type numbers that many expected him to, but his play in the field was impressive. He may be hampered by the number of starts he made as the designated hitter. He’s opposed by Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals, and Andy Dirks of the Detroit Tigers. It seems like a toss up between the three, but the A’s fan inside me won’t expect Cespedes to come away with the hardware.
Josh Donaldson has made a tremendous transformation from catcher to third base, and he has developed quite a knack for making the flashy plays at the hot corner. But he also had a penchant for making errors, and his .961 fielding percentage reflected that. That’s not to say he was poor, but he wasn’t spectacular on some of the routine plays. Adrian Beltre had a lower percentage, but he has a stranglehold on that award, so he gets in based on reputation.Manny Machado and Evan Longoria had better numbers, although not by much. Machado and Donaldson could have been swapped and there wouldn’t have been much argument about it, but Machado has gained a higher profile nationally, so he gets the nod. Donaldson’s chance will come in due time.