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Two Rays among Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists

There was, however, one glaring omission

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

‘Tis the season for award nominations. In spite of the World Series still going full speed ahead, there are groups already working hard at handing out the big season awards for performance. While it will be several months before we see who will take home the MVP and Rookie of the Year nods, the fine folks at Rawlings have announced the finalists for the 60th annual Gold Glove award.

The Gold Glove Award is given to players who demonstrate exceptional individual fielding performances, and each position is represented. According to the Rawlings website the Gold Glove is meant to reward “overall fielding excellence, and it is not an award based solely on fielding metrics and statistics, nor does it factor offensive production.”

This year the Rays received two nods.

Alex Cobb was singled out as an outstanding pitcher, and will go up against fellow AL East pitchers Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays) and Chris Sale (Red Sox) for the award. Cobb had a DRS of 6 for the season, the highest number he’s posted in defensive runs saved for his entire career.

Evan Longoria was nominated for his work at third base. He previously won the award in both 2009 and 2010. Longoria showed a tremendous improvement in his fielding from last season, with his DRS going from -9 to a +11, and his UZR jumping from a 0.6 to 3.2. The numbers aren’t nearly what they were in his early seasons, but still a noteworthy leap over 2016.

Kevin Kiermaier, who was obviously incredible this season, was unfortunately ineligible for a nomination due to his lengthy recovery time from his hip fracture. According to Rawlings, “all infielders and outfielders must have played in the field for at least 698 total innings through his team’s 138th game” in order to be eligible. Kiermaier fell just short of this. If he can stay healthy all season in 2018 he should be a shoe in for a nomination.

While we certainly agree with their choices, and grudgingly understand Kiermaier’s ineligibility, it was hard not to notice a troubling snub on the list.

I mean...

If that doesn’t call for a top three finish for Steven Souza Jr., I really don’t know what their ranking metric over at Rawlings is.

Winners will be announced November 7th.