gold glove

Derek Jeter denied a National League Gold Glove award

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Derek Jeter won his fifth American League Gold Glove yesterday, but in a tremendous slight to the future Hall of Famer he’s been denied the National League version of the award.

Jeter not actually playing in the NL perhaps made it difficult to honor him, but then again Jeter not actually being a good defensive shortstop didn’t keep the AL from giving him the hardware.

Here are the NL winners:

C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B – Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds
SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B – Scott Rolen, Reds
OF – Shane Victorino, Phillies
OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF – Michael Bourn, Astros
P – Bronson Arroyo, Reds

Nothing close to yesterday’s Jeter craziness and in fact I’d say the NL did a pretty solid job as a whole.

Ryan Zimmerman won the award at third base last season only to be displaced by Rolen this year. I tend to think Zimmerman is the best defensive third baseman in baseball right now, but Rolen held that title for a long time and he’s still very, very good. It’s his eighth career Gold Glove.

Phillips over Chase Utley at second base is questionable based on advanced defensive metrics, but Utley’s defensive reputation has never quite matched his numbers and Phillips is plenty good.

Jay Bruce, Jason Heyward, and Chris Young are among the outfield snubs and it’s interesting that Carlos Gonzalez gets his first Gold Glove despite the voters’ previous tendency to pick “outfielders” rather than a left fielder, a center fielder, and a right fielder.

Zimmerman, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Jimmy Rollins, and Adam Wainwright all won a Gold Glove in the NL last season and didn’t get one this year despite remaining the league, with Molina, Bourn, and Victorino the only back-to-back winners.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.