Perhaps it’s the bias towards the Milwaukee Brewers talking, but how Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez didn’t get Gold Glove awards this season is beyond me. Both Braun and Ramirez we knew had amazing bats that helped this line-up in many ways, shapes and forms, but what people also forget is how good their defense was. Braun had a pretty solid year defensively, and aside from six errors, he still managed some decent numbers. However, Carlos Gonzalez still found a way to beat him out. At third, A-Ram was beaten out by Chase Headley, but in my mind, neither one really makes a whole lot of sense.
Let’s take a look at these comparisons.
Braun: 1318 innings (151 games), 2.8 UZR, 6 errors, 6 assists, 1 double play, .979 fielding percentage
Gonzalez: 1127.2 innings (131 games), -8.5 UZR, 4 errors, 7 assists, 2 double plays, .982 fielding percentage
This isn’t a knock to what CarGo accomplished in the season, but clearly, Braun had an edge on him. The fact not only that he played in 20 more games than CarGo, but the fact that his ultimate zone rating or UZR, was much higher as well. Not to mention, Braun had a 0.1 defensive WAR (wins above replacement) whereas Gonzalez had a -1.9. Both players did incredibly well in left and were huge assets to their teams, but come on, Braun outplayed Gonzalez in almost 200 more innings. That’s huge. Also, Braun saved seven runs from left field whereas Gonzalez had a -13 in runs saved or DRS. Maybe I’m just nitpicking, but those are some pretty big categories.
If the reason why Braun didn’t win a Gold Glove is because of what happened last off-season, then shame on the MLB. That said, congratulations to Gonzalez though on winning. He’s one heck of a player.
Ramirez: 1242.1 innings (149 games), 8.2 UZR, 7 errors, 222 assists, 12 double plays, .977 fielding percentage
Headley: 1397 innings (161 games), 6.0 UZR, 10 errors, 315 assists, 14 double plays, .977 fielding percentage
This one really is close even if Headley won in the end, but let’s just talk about these stats. Headley was one game shy of playing the entire 162-game season and kudos to him for that. Durability is something that is required of third base as it’s also the hot corner in the infield. However, what fails to make sense is how Headley not only won it over A-Ram, but also David Wright. While Headley, like Braun, played in more games, he still ended up having similar or worse numbers than A-Ram who played in less games. Now you may say that “well what about CarGo, he played in less games and beat out Braun.” Yes he did, but were his stats any better? No. I’m not saying Headley is a bad defensive third baseman, he’s actually pretty lights out, but I’m not so sure giving him the Gold Glove this year was really a no-brainer decision. If anything, I’d make a bigger case for Wright who got robbed, but hey, that’s baseball.
If you want to factor in some other numbers between A-Ram and Headley, look at their DRS. Ramirez had a DRS of 4 whereas Headley had one of -3. I don’t get it either, but still, congratulations to Headley on winning.