Three Mariners finalists for Gold Glove awards
Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez have been better known for their hitting and pitching prowess in their Mariners careers, but the two Seattle All-Stars were named top-three finalists for Rawlings Gold Gloves at their positions on Thursday.
Second baseman Robinson Cano, a two-time Gold Glove winner while with the Yankees, was the third Mariners player named as a finalist for the Rawlings awards, which will be announced on Nov. 4 in a 4 p.m. PT televised presentation on ESPN2.
Seattle didn’t have any finalists last year, while shortstop Brendan Ryan and second baseman Dustin Ackley were top-three finalists in 2012. The Mariners haven’t had a Gold Glove winner since 2010, when outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Franklin Gutierrez both were honored.
When no Seattle players were selected in 2011, it broke a string of 24 straight years with a Mariners Gold Glove winner, a streak helped by 10 straight selections by Ken Griffey Jr. from 1990-99 and 10 more by Ichiro from 2001-10.
Cano was an AL Gold Glove winner in 2010 and ‘12, with Boston’s Dustin Pedroia taking the second base honors in 2011 and ’13. Pedroia and Cano are finalists again this year at second, along with Detroit’s Ian Kinsler.
The third base finalists are Seager, Josh Donaldson of the A’s and Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, while Hernandez is joined in the final three for pitchers by Dallas Keuchel of the Astros and Mark Buehrle of the Blue Jays, who was a three-time Gold Glove winner for the White Sox from 2009-11.
Baltimore’s Manny Machado won the 2013 AL Gold Glove at third base, but the 22-year-old played just 82 games in an injury-plagued season this year. Beltre is a four-time Gold Glove winner, including twice with the Mariners in 2007 and ’08.
Seager had a big year offensively, earning his first AL All-Star berth while leading the Mariners with 25 home runs and 96 RBIs. But he quietly took a big step forward with the glove as well and now has been recognized for that effort in the Gold Glove nominations, which are based about 75 percent on voting by AL managers and coaches and 25 percent on defensive metrics.
Hernandez’s nomination can be added to an outstanding season in which he went 15-6 with an AL-leading 2.14 ERA and a career-high 246 strikeouts. The 28-year-old is also a leading contender for his second AL Cy Young Award, which is voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and will be announced Nov. 12.