Could the Cubs have three Gold Glove winners?

Could the Cubs have three Gold Glove winners?
September 13, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

As the Cubs approach 95 losses, you won't see the organization up for too many postseason awards.

This isn't like 26 years ago, when Andre Dawson was the clear-cut MVP on a last-place team.

And while 2013 has been full of struggles for the big-league club, the Cubs have played good defense and could be rewarded in the Gold Glove voting at the end of the year.

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Mark Simon, the analyst behind ESPN Stats & Information, weighed in on Buster Olney's Friday column (Insider only) and picked his Gold Glove winners for each league. In the NL, Anthony Rizzo and Darwin Barney both cracked Simon's list.

"The Cubs have the top guys on right side of infield," Simon wrote. "Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Goldschmidt are almost even with Rizzo in Defensive Runs Saved, so that one might be a toss-up. Barney's numbers aren't as good as last season, which were basically off-the-charts, but they're still pretty good (he covers a LOT of ground)."

It's no surprise to see Barney, the 2012 NL Gold Glove winner at 2B, included in this list. He is behind only the Dodgers' Mark Ellis (11 DRS) among NL 2B Defensive Runs Saved leaders, tied with former Cub D.J. LeMahieu, now with the Rockies. But Barney has also played 1,126.2 innings while Ellis (805.2) and LeMahieu (705) pale in comparison in terms of chances.

An interesting note: Brandon Phillips, the outspoken Reds second baseman who was not happy with being passed over for Barney in the Gold Glove voting last season, is at 0 DRS for the season.

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Rizzo leads all NL first basemen with 15 DRS, five more than Goldschmidt (10) and six more than Gonzalez (9).

The Cubs could actually have a third Gold Glove, as Welington Castillo (who is apparently the slowest man in baseball) leads all MLB catchers with 17 DRS, one ahead of Russell Martin, Simon's pick for NL Gold Glove winner at catcher.

Imagine where the 62-84 Cubs would be without the defense of these three guys. For one thing, their -52 run differential would be significantly worse.