For a second consecutive year, the Orioles do not have one of that year's Gold Glove winners on the team. Manny Machado was the lone finalist at third base, vying for the third of his career, but when results were announced on Tuesday night, it was instead Rays third baseman Evan Longoria collecting his third Gold Glove instead.
Longoria finished ahead of both Machado and Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez in winning the Gold Glove. Though Longoria was a two-time winner before tonight, he hadn't won one since 2010. Machado, who last won in 2015, will have to wait until next year to get another shot.
The Gold Glove awards are voted on by managers and coaches. That accounts for 75% of the results. The final 25% is determined by the SABR Defensive Index.
Who should have won this year's award at third base? That probably depends on which colored lenses you're viewing the competition. Here's how Machado, Ramirez, and Longoria stacked up on some of the publicly available numbers:
- Innings at third base: 1,370.0
- Defensive Runs Saved: +6
- Ultimate Zone Rating: +4.7
- Innings at third base: 1,240.0
- Defensive Runs Saved: +11
- Ultimate Zone Rating: +3.2
- Innings at third base: 736.2
- Defensive Runs Saved: 0
- Ultimate Zone Rating: +3.8
The 2016 Gold Glove for third base went to Adrian Beltre, so there was going to be a new winner this year regardless.
With Ramirez splitting his time between second and third base, it was hard for me to even entertain the idea that he might win. He played only 88 games at the position. Longoria holds the modest edge over Machado in DRS, while Machado has a slim lead in the UZR number. That's why it depends on how you want to look at it.
It's worth noting that, whether Machado was better than Longoria or not, this was the worst season of his career by both DRS and UZR. The 2014 season also saw him worth "only" +6 runs by DRS, but that was the season where he only played about half the year.
We are a long way from when Machado was worth +35 runs in DRS in the 2013 season, or even just from last year, when he was worth +16 runs between third base and shortstop. Things will be better for the Orioles if that trend reverses.