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2019 Gold Glove Award winners announced; Lorenzo Cain finally included

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The winners of the 2019 Gold Glove Award were announced on ESPN over the course of the past hour. In case you missed it, here they are:

American League

C: Roberto Pérez, Indians (1st career Gold Glove)
1B: Matt Olson, Athletics (2nd career Gold Glove)
2B: Yolmer Sánchez, White Sox (1st career Gold Glove)
3B: Matt Chapman, Athletics (2nd career Gold Glove)
SS: Francisco Lindor, Indians (2nd career Gold Glove)
LF: Alex Gordon, Royals (7th career Gold Glove)
CF: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays (3rd career Gold Glove)
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox (4th career Gold Glove)
P: Mike Leake, Mariners (1st career Gold Glove)

The Athletics have now won Gold Gloves at the infield corners in two consecutive seasons thanks to Olson and Chapman. As long as they both wear the green and gold, there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon.

Lindor got the hardware over Andrelton Simmons at shortstop. Simmons missed time with an injury. Had he been healthy, he likely would’ve won at the position for the third consecutive year.

Gordon earns a Gold Glove for the seventh time, including his last three consecutively. The Royals declined his 2020 option nevertheless, but he could re-sign with the team at a lower price point.

The legendary Mike Trout has won all kinds of awards, but still never a Gold Glove.

National League

C: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies (1st career Gold Glove)
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (3rd career Gold Glove)
2B: Kolten Wong, Cardinals (1st career Gold Glove)
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies (7th career Gold Glove)
SS: Nick Ahmed, Diamondbacks (2nd career Gold Glove)
LF: David Peralta, Diamondbacks (1st career Gold Glove)
CF: Lorenzo Cain, Brewers (1st career Gold Glove)
RF: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers (1st career Gold Glove)
P: Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks (6th career Gold Glove)

Arenado wins the award at third base for a seventh consecutive year. As MLB.com’s Sarah Langs notes, the only other player to start his career by winning at least seven consecutive Gold Gloves is Ichiro Suzuki, who did it in the first 10 seasons of his career.

It’s good to see Cain finally win a Gold Glove Award. He deserved it in past years, including when he was with the Royals, but the competition has notably been steep.

Interesting to see that both pitchers who won Gold Gloves were traded midseason to the other league. Game 7 of the World Series highlighted Greinke’s defensive brilliance. No Astros and no Nationals won Gold Gloves, at least on behalf of those teams.

If you missed the finalists — three named at each position — you can find them here.

Indians hitting coach Van Burkleo opts out due to COVID-19

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CHICAGO — Cleveland Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo has opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns about contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Team President Chris Antonetti said Friday that Van Burkelo had been contemplating his departure for some time because of a personal high-risk condition and for his family. The Van Burkleos have a special needs child.

Antonetti said the challenges of traveling and the lack of room in road ballparks may have been the tipping point for the 57-year-old Van Burkleo, who is in his eighth season with the club. He had been under fire for Cleveland’s early offensive struggles.

“We are fully supportive of Ty’s decision,” Antonetti said, adding Van Burkleo remains employed by the team. “He’ll continue to provide support remotely and contribute any way he can from home.”

Antonetti said Alex Eckelman will join the staff to assist Victor Rodriguez and Justin Toole working with the Indians hitters.

Antonetti said the team spoke with all its coaches and staff before the season about working amid the inherent risks from the coronavirus. He said Van Burkleo was committed, but that the wear and tear of the protocols, particularly on the road, may have made it impossible for him to feel safe.

Van Burkleo’s departure further complicates several issues with the Indians’ coaching staff.

Manager Terry Francona will miss his sixth straight game Friday while addressing a gastrointestinal issue he’s combated for months. The 61-year Francona did not make the trip to Chicago and it’s not yet known if he’ll be back next week.

The Indians are off Monday before opening a two-game series at home against the Cubs.

First-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. has been filling in for Francona. Earlier this week, third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh left his regular spot to help Alomar in the dugout. Cleveland has been without bench coach Brad Mills all season after he decided to spend time with family following the tragic drowning of his grandson this offseason.

Antonetti acknowledged the season has already presented numerous hurdles.

“We’ve had to deal with a lot of things and a lot of adversity over the course of the last few months and that’s been highlighted in the last week or so with some leadership challenges,” he said.