The Brewers’ run prevention skills were as big a part of their sudden success in 2018 as anything, and now it looks like that effort is being recognized nationally.
Gold Glove finalists were announced by Rawlings today, and the Brewers have four players in the running for baseball’s most well-known defensive award: Manny Pina, Travis Shaw, Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain.
#Rawlings #GoldGlove Award Finalists – NL C – @sfgiants @busterposey, @cardinals @yadimolina04, @brewers Manny Pina pic.twitter.com/Lzcbtl3MCU— Rawlings Sports (@RawlingsSports) October 25, 2018
#Rawlings #GoldGlove Award Finalists – NL 3B – @rockies Nolan Arenado, @nationals @anthonyrendon_6, @brewers @travis_shaw21 pic.twitter.com/ArRPfBAN8r— Rawlings Sports (@RawlingsSports) October 25, 2018
#Rawlings #GoldGlove Award Finalists – NL LF – @brewers @ChristianYelich, @pirates @MCoreyDickerson, @braves @aduvall123 pic.twitter.com/Vlj52EAkJA— Rawlings Sports (@RawlingsSports) October 25, 2018
#Rawlings #GoldGlove Award Finalists – NL CF – @reds @billyhamilton, @brewers Lorenzo Cain, @braves @enderinciartem pic.twitter.com/sDvUQ504Fj— Rawlings Sports (@RawlingsSports) October 25, 2018
The fact that they’re finalists really only means they finished in the Top 3 in voting for their position, and there’s been enough wonky Gold Glove results in recent years that some of the gold has lost its luster, but it’s still never a bad thing to see members of The Good Land 25 get some national recognition for their glovework. Once a guy wins, he’ll always be known as a Gold Glove Defender, regardless of how much his skills slip later in his career.
Last year, Zach Davies was named as a finalist for the NL Pitcher Gold Glove, which eventually went to former Brewer Zack Greinke for the 4th year in a row. Fellow Former Brewer Martin Maldonado won the AL’s catching Gold Glove last year with the Angels and is again a finalist this year with the Astros.
While it’s unlikely Pina unseats Yadier Molina or Buster Posey — those two won every award from 2008 to 2016, before Tucker Barnhart surprisingly won the award last year — there’s no denying he has one of the strongest throwing arms in the league. Likewise, Shaw seems unlikely to steal the Gold Glove from Nolan Arenado — who has won five straight Gold Gloves at third base — but in a funny twist, his underrated defense likely gained more credibility when he transitioned to second base on the fly in the second half without much problem (regardless of what Bob Costas was trying to say during the NLDS).
Of the Brewers’ nominees, Yelich and Cain — one who has won before, and the other who probably should have at some point — seem to have the best shot at picking up some hardware when the winners are announced in a few weeks.
The Brewers haven’t had a winner since Carlos Gomez picked up his lone Gold Glove in 2013.