From the Enquier:

Red first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips won Gold Glove awards, which were announced late Tuesday night.

It was Phillips’ third Gold Glove in four years.

It was the first for Votto. He became, in fact, the first Reds’ first baseman to win a Gold Glove award.

Jay Bruce was also a finalist, but the right fielder lost out to Andre Ethier of the Dodgers.

The awards are voted on by major league coaches and managers.

First, congrats to the winners. Anytime you’re awarded something by your “peers” it’s quite an honor.

Brandon Phillips is an obvious choice…kudos to him for his continued outstanding defensive play.

And let me start off by saying that I LOVE Joey Votto….BUT, I’ve not seen anything that convinces me that he’s a Gold Glover.

In fact, I’ve publicly stated that I think, at times, Joey is lazy on defense and makes bad decisions. (See the throw he made last season that ended Zach Cozart’s season…lazy throw, right into a sliding runner…I know, I know, it’s one play…but immediately came to mind.)

I see this as similar to Scott Rolen winning last year…an unexplainable event. Rolen was no more a GGer last year than the man in the moon, but he won anyway. In his case, I think it was based on past performance and reputation, I have an even harder time explaining Joey winning.

I can’t say who should have won this year at 1B, but I don’t think Joey’s a great defensive player, surely not a Gold Glover. Was it a poor year for good defensive first baseman?

Just my opinion….so, what do you think?

19 Responses

  1. lookatthathat

    Eithier got one??? Really??? Wowzers. They know that the Dodgers have been trying to move him to first for years now, right?

  2. RiverCity Redleg

    It’s obvious that offensive production plays a part in determining the gold glovers. This is just the first time a Red actually benefited from that as opposed to being the one that got screwed.

  3. per14

    Oops. When you go to link, sort for “Fld.” Shows Votto was second behind Carlos Lee.

  4. RiverCity Redleg

    @per14: Fangraphs also shows that Votto had by far the highest UZR and the highest range amongst all NL 1B.

  5. Aaron Lehr

    I was actually coming in here to echo Bill’s comments and state that the Field Bible Award was given to Pujols at 1B, but if I had bothered to look at a few stats, I would have noticed what’s already been posted here.

    Congrats to both. I general I think GGs are borderline meaningless, and are usually given to good offensive players who aren’t noticably terrible on defense… or sometimes they’re given to guys who didn’t win another award. I was just noticing that Pujols won the Silver Slugger at first. How is it that Votto, a first baseman, wins MVP but not the Silver Slugger?

  6. Aaron Lehr

    Meant to say, Pujols won the SS *last year*

  7. Sultan of Swaff

    I think Votto’s GG was somewhat deserved. For my taste, despite sitting back too often on balls down the line, he made all the plays there and was above average at digging balls out of the dirt. His only competition—guys like Carlos Pena and Freddy Freeman, were newcomers to the league. That said, when you never have to range to your right because you have an absolute magician playing 2b, you can make it look effortless.
    Now if we could just get Joey to quit stepping with his wrong foot on throws around the horn after putouts!

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    From Votto’s press release where he gives credit to his coaches and teammates: “When I first started playing professional baseball I was without a position. For my first half season in the minor leagues, I was essentially a professional DH. To have come this far through hard work, perseverance and the willingness to learn is something I will always be proud of. Defense is a part of the game that can always be improved upon, and to have come as far as I have, I am an example of that.”
    The guy’s a class act.

  9. Aaron Lehr

    @Sultan of Swaff: Where’s the part where he credits coaches and teammates? Your quote seems to be the exact opposite of that.

  10. CP

    I was surprised Joey won for the same reasons Bill said BUT:

    1. Joey has a lot better range than most 1B. I think fans are so used to having complete statues out there making easy players look difficult that we underestimate Joey’s range.
    2. He is superb at digging balls out of the dirt (though admittedly Scottie and Brandon hit him in the chest 95% of the time…lets see him do it with Juan at 3B).
    3. He plays far more aggressive defensively than anyone else in the NL. The only one I can think that compares is Pujols.

    He clearly still has room for improvement but I think he deserved it. Pena/Pujols were his only really competition.

  11. rightsaidred

    His glove is golden! It’s his arm that is a noodle. Good thing it is apparently not a combined award for glove/arm. 🙂

  12. mike

    for kicks
    the most valuable single season Reds 1B of all time defensively
    using baseball-reference defensive WAR

    12 Sean Casey (2000)
    8 Votto (2008)
    8 Casey (2003)
    7 Votto (2011)
    7 Perez (1975)
    6 Casey (2005)
    6 Morris (1991)
    6 Driessen (1978)
    6 Kluszewski (1954)

  13. Sultan of Swaff

    @mike: What a laugh. Hal Morris > all those guys.

  14. Furniture City Red

    Yep. Phillips was a no-brainer, but Votto….eh.

    I probably watched 140+ Reds games this season and I just don’t see Votto as a Gold Glover. I agree 100% with Lack – Votto appears lazy at times on defense, and he DOES make bad decisions.

  15. al

    defense is just so hard to measure. it’s getting a lot better, that’s for sure, but it’s still tough. i think votto shows excellent range for a 1B, and he looks like he’s above average with the glove. the thing that jumped out at me this year, on more than a few occassions, was his little flip throws.

    i think he’s got a decent arm, but he tosses the ball so gingerly sometimes, with nothing on it, and it almost always turns out badly when he does. i wonder how the defensive stats do with things like that, when it’s not an error, and not off target, but just a weak throw.