The right side of the Cubs infield could bring home some hardware.
Rawlings unveiled the Gold Glove finalists on Friday, naming second baseman Darwin Barney and first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
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Barney, who won the award in 2012, joins outspoken rival Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds) and Mark Ellis (Los Angeles Dodgers) among the three National League finalists. Rizzo was included with Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks) and L.A. star Adrian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has three Gold Gloves on his mantel, but has won just once since the 2009 season. Phillips garnered three Gold Gloves between 2008 and 2011. Ellis and Goldschmidt haven’t won the award before. For Rizzo – who was once included in the Gonzalez megadeal between the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres – 2013 marked his first full season in the big leagues.
Barney led all major-league second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage (four errors in 603 total chances). He began the season with a 71-game errorless streak and ended it with a 52-game streak. Rizzo’s .997 fielding percentage (five errors in 1,441 total chances) ranked third among NL first basemen.
Defense is difficult to quantify, but Defensive Runs Saved is an interesting metric. Rizzo led the NL with 16 DRS, three ahead of Goldschmidt and five ahead of Gonzalez. Ellis led NL second basemen with 12 DRS, but Barney was right behind with 11 while Phillips notched just one.
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Barney saved an eye-popping 28 runs last season as he earned his first Gold Glove, giving him pedigree as a proven winner. Phillips has a flashy personality that could have influenced the voters. In theory, offense shouldn’t be a factor, but down years won’t help Barney (.208 average) and Rizzo (.233).
The winners will be announced Tuesday night during an ESPN2 special.