Longoria and Cobb Named Rays Gold Glove Finalists

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 5: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 5: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and pitcher Alex Cobb have been named finalists for the AL Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

On Thursday, the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company announced their 2017 finalists for the Gold Glove and Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and pitcher Alex Cobb are among the three finalists in their respective positions from the American League. The award honors the best individual fielding performance at each position in both leagues.

Managers and up to six coaches on his staff are eligible to vote from a pool of qualifies players within their league. However, they cannot vote for any players on their own team. Additionally, the SABR Defensive Index comprises approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.

The winners will be unveiled during a live one hour “Baseball Tonight The 2017Rawlings Gold Glove Award Announcement Show” on ESPN Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at 9 p.m.ET/8 p.m. CT.

For Longoria, this marks his third nomination as a finalist and the first since winning back-to-back Gold Gloves in 2009 and 2010.

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This past season, Longoria committed 12 errors in 375 chances in 1240 innings (142 games @ 3B) for a .968 fielding percentage. Additionally, according to Baseball-Reference.com, his Rdrs/yr (Defensive Runs Saved Above Average per 1,200 innings) was +11 which ranked him first in the AL and he also ranked first in Rdrs (BIS Runs Saved Above Average) with +11. His UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) was 3.2 per Fangraphs.com.

Longoria will face tough competition among the AL third baseman as Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians are the two other finalists.

Although Machado logged 130 more innings at third base than Longoria, he committed 14 errors in 425 chances in 1370 innings (156 games @ 3B) for a fielding percentage of .967 with an Rdrs/yr of +5, which ranked him third among qualifying third baseman. Machado also ranked third with a +6 Rdrs and followed that up with a UZR of 4.7 per Fangraphs.com.

It is surprising that Ramirez was selected as a finalist for third, since he played just 88 games at the position (none after Aug. 20 as he moved to second). He committed six errors in 213 chances in 732.2 innings for a .972 fielding percentage, which ranked him 11th in innings in 86 games started (88 overall). His Rdrs/yr and Rdrs resulted in a zero with a UZR of 3.8.

Three first time finalists head the pitching category, led by Cobb, Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox and Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, Cobb ranked 17th in innings pitched among the eligible finalists with 179.1 innings (29 starts), and committed the most errors with three in 44 chances. for a .932 fielding percentage. However, he led the way in Rdrs/yr with a +7 and in the Rdrs with 6 and led the AL in pickoffs with five.

Fangraphs.com ranks Cobb tied for second in rSB (Stolen Base Runs Saved) with 1 and they rank him first rPM (Plus Minus Runs Saved) with four.

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Sale was tops in innings pitched with 214.1 (32 starts) and one complete game. He committed no errors in 30 chances; however, his Rdrs/yr and Rdrs were both at +2 and he did not pickoff a runner.

Stroman ranked ninth in innings pitched with 201 innings (33 starts), with two complete games and committed just one error in 47 chances for a .979 fielding percentage. His Rdrs/yr and Rdrs were 5 and he had one pickoff.

Missing from the list is Kevin Kiermaier who was ineligible because he did not meet Rawlings eligibility requirement. Per Rawlings, Kiermaier would have needed to play in the field for at least 698 total innings through his team’s 138th game.

Rawlings Platinum Glove

Following the ESPN announcement telecast on Nov. 7, voting for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award presented by SABR will begin online at www.rawlings.com. The voting will open at 9 p.m. CT and will remain open for 48 hours. The public can vote to weigh in as to who is “The Finest in the Field®” in both the American League and National League. Fans can only select one player among the 2017 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners from each League.

A combination of the national fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index will determine who takes home the honor of each League’s top defensive player.

Next: Rays Hire Matt Quatraro as Third Base Coach

The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners will be unveiled during the 2017 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Ceremony on Friday, November 10, 2017.