We already went over the American League Gold Glove winners, so now it’s the National League’s turn.
Again, things were a little different this year. In addition to three finalists at each defensive position, we also had one winner from each outfield position for the first time.
Courtesy of the Associated Press, here are your 2011 NL Gold Glove winners:
C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals (fourth Gold Glove)
1B – Joey Votto, Reds (first Gold Glove)
2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds (third Gold Glove)
SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (second Gold Glove)
3B – Placido Polanco, Phillies (third Gold Glove)
LF – Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks (first Gold Glove)
CF – Matt Kemp, Dodgers (second Gold Glove)
RF – Andre Ethier, Dodgers (first Gold Glove)
P – Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (first Gold Glove)
Kemp, Ethier and Kershaw are the first trio of Dodgers to win the award in the same season. Kemp previously won the Gold Glove in 2009 while Ethier and Kershaw are both first-time winners. Again, I’m not going to waste too much time railing against the voting process, but Ethier sticks out like a sore thumb on this list. Justin Upton, who was announced as a Fielding Bible award winner on Monday, wasn’t even one of the finalists for right field. Oh well.
On the bright side, there aren’t too many other complaints here. Yadier Molina was a no-brainer behind the plate, becoming the first NL catcher to win the Gold Glove in four consecutive seasons since Charles Johnson from 1995-1998. While not a household name, Arizona’s Gerardo Parra was a tremendous pick for left field. Kudos for getting that one right. Polanco was pretty much a lock to win at a watered-down third base position, despite appearing in just 122 games this season. He joins Darin Erstad as the only players to win Gold Gloves at two positions.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.