Those who watched the Milwaukee Brewers this year likely noticed a defense that fell below expectations at times. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t individual performances worth recognizing, which is exactly what happened last week.
Last Thursday, Rawlings announced the Gold Glove finalists at each position for the 2022 regular season. Perhaps surprisingly (especially in one case), the Brewers had two players receive the honors once the names were revealed.
On Thursday, it was announced that pitcher Corbin Burnes and left fielder Christian Yelich were named Gold Glove finalists for the 2022 season.
He may not be repeating the Cy Young award that he won in 2022, the first for the Brewers franchise since 1982. But staff ace Corbin Burnes has a chance to add a different type of award to his mantle in the form of a Gold Glove.
He will be battling Tyler Anderson of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves for the award.
Burnes’ fine fielding wasn’t just limited to calling off other infielders for pop flies. He was plenty active on defense as his 49 combined put outs and assists led all 22 qualified NL pitchers. He also finished 2nd among the group with four defensive runs saved, one more than Fried and one behind Anderson.
Joining Burnes as an NL Gold Glove finalist is former MVP Christian Yelich. This actually isn’t uncharted territory for the latter as he already has a Gold Glove win under his belt when he was a member of the Miami Marlins in 2014.
Despite the previous honor, there are probably few Brewers fans who would refer to Yelich as a defensive mastermind. Even if you took his below average throwing arm out of the equation in context of this award, most would probably describe his fielding as average at best.
Yelich put up below average marks in both defensive runs saved (-2) and outs above average (-4) during the 2022 season. But as Adam McCalvy of MLB.com pointed out, he was one of few players to log a significant number of innings at the position.
Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs and David Peralta, formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks, were the other left field finalists. There’s a good chance that Happ and his 13 DRS are the favorite to win the award.
Some may have felt that Jace Peterson, who was excellent defensively at third base in particular, might have a chance at a nomination for the new utility position award. Unfortunately, due to an injury that wiped out part of July and most of August, he fell short of the innings requirement to be eligible for the award.
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You won’t see many other awards that have Brewers players named as finalists this offseason. Perhaps, though, one of the above can bring home at least one trophy for the mantle.