Third baseman Manny Machado is the Orioles’ only hope of having a 2017 Gold Glove Award winner.
Rawlings Sporting Goods and Major League Baseball announced the three finalists at each defensive position today in the American League and National League, and Machado is the lone Oriole to make the cut.
A two-time winner, Machado was a finalist in 2016 but lost out to one of his idols, Texas’ Adrian Beltre. This year, Machado is up against Cleveland third baseman/utility infielder Jose Ramirez and another finalist from 2016, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria.
This is only the second time since 2011, when the three-finalists format started, that the Orioles have had only one defender make the list. It also occurred in 2015, when Machado won his second Gold Glove. Last season, Machado and first baseman Chris Davis were in the Top 3 of their respective positions, but neither won.
From 2011 through 2014, the Orioles had multiple Gold Glove winners each season.
The lone Gold Glove selection for the Orioles this season supports manager Buck Showalter’s contention that his team’s defense – a strength during his tenure in Baltimore, which began in Aug. 2010 – took a step backward in 2017. Showalter has said improving the defense, even with much of the same personnel, will be a focus for the club in 2018.
Machado, 25, made 14 errors in 425 chances while playing 156 games at third base. It was the second highest number of errors for a season in his career, behind the 21 he made in a Gold-Glove-winning campaign in 2015. His six defensive runs saved, according to Fangraphs, was third among qualifying AL third baseman behind Longoria (11) and Todd Frazier (10). Ramirez had a combined five defensive runs saved while splitting time between third base (86 starts) and second base (65 starts).
The winners will be announced on ESPN starting at 9 p.m. ET on Nov. 7.