Holy Jeter! Your American League Gold Glove Winners

33 Comments

I have no words.  Aaron’s analysis is here. Here are the winners:

C: Joe Mauer

1B: Mark Teixeira

2B: Robinson Cano

3B:Evan Longoria

SS: Derek Freakin’ Jeter

OF: Ichiro Suzuki

OF: Carl Crawford

OF: Franklin Gutierrez

P: Mark Buehrle

I suppose good arguments can be made for and against most of those guys, but I don’t see how anyone can call Derek Jeter the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Even the heartiest Jeter backers have given up vouching his defense in recent years.  This is an inertia award, voted on by people who care less about actually honoring good defense than in honoring tenure and popularity and, maybe, in defensively perpetuating the erroneous belief that we never grow old, our skills never erode and that we never will die.

The thinking: “Hey, if Derek Jeter is still pickin’ it like gold in his mid-to-late 30s, I must be in my salad days! [whistle whistle whistle . . .]”

We’ll have more analysis on this as the day goes on. I, for one, am going to get a stiff drink in the hopes of forgetting this ever happened.

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.