Anybody who spent time watching the Orioles season probably came away with the impression that their defense wasn’t all that great, a position that is supported by basically every available metric at basically every position. No surprise, then, that as the field is winnowed down for Gold Gloves, the Orioles have just one finalist: Manny Machado at third base.
The Gold Gloves will be announced on November 7. The results are already known and for now, the top three vote-getters at each position have been revealed. Three-quarters of the result is determined by a poll of coaches and managers, while a quarter is a sabermetric component.
Machado’s competition for the 2017 award at third base consists of Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and Indians infielder Jose Ramirez.
You can’t even really say Ramirez was Cleveland’s third baseman: He started barely more than half of the team’s games at that position. In true Gold Glove fashion, he may win because he had a great year at the plate, posting a .957 OPS. I don’t want to take away from what was an incredible breakout season for Ramirez. There’s just no argument that it was a Gold Glove season.
Machado and Longoria are both former two-time Gold Glove winners. It’s been a bit more time since Longoria won. The Rays star took consecutive awards in 2009 and 2010 and hasn’t won one since. Machado collected his hardware in 2013 and 2015. Machado is the only repeat finalist. Last year’s award went to Adrian Beltre, so there will be a different winner this year.
The 2016 season was the first one without a Gold Glove for the O’s since 2010. The Buck Showalter years of the Orioles saw four consecutive multi-Gold Glove seasons for the team, although that streak was snapped in 2015, when Machado was the only winner for the team. If they’re going to add more to the franchise’s tally, Machado is their only hope for this year.
Former Oriole Gerardo Parra, now with the Rockies, is a National League finalist for left field. That’s going to drive me up the wall if I think about it any more. In a similar vein, former Orioles prospect Zach Davies, who was traded for Parra, is a finalist in the NL at the pitcher position. What a bad trade that was.
The Angels, Red Sox, and Royals lead the way in the AL with four finalists apiece. Every other AL East team aside from the O’s has multiple finalists, as the Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays each have two. Maybe things will be better for the Orioles next year.