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Pillar, Stroman named AL Gold Glove finalists

MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar and Marcus Stroman are in the running for a pair of Major League Baseball's most prestigious defensive awards.

Pillar and Stroman were named finalists for the annual Rawlings Gold Glove Awards on Thursday. Pillar is one of three American League finalists in center field for the second time in as many years, while Stroman received recognition for the first time. Toronto has not had a Gold Glove winner since R.A. Dickey in 2013.

TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar and Marcus Stroman are in the running for a pair of Major League Baseball's most prestigious defensive awards.

Pillar and Stroman were named finalists for the annual Rawlings Gold Glove Awards on Thursday. Pillar is one of three American League finalists in center field for the second time in as many years, while Stroman received recognition for the first time. Toronto has not had a Gold Glove winner since R.A. Dickey in 2013.

The 26-year-old Stroman is a finalist alongside Boston's Chris Sale and Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb, while Pillar is competing against Minnesota's Byron Buxton and Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain. The winners at each position will be announced on Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. ET. In order to qualify, pitchers had to pitch in at least 138 innings and outfielders had to appear in 698 total innings through the first 138 games of the season.

Cast your vote for Best Defensive Player, more in 2017 Esurance MLB Awards

This year's Gold Glove Awards represent just one way the game's top performers will be recognized. Voting is underway now for the Esurance MLB Awards, which annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process. MLB Awards season will culminate on Friday, Nov. 17, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com starting at 8 p.m. ET.

All-time AL Gold Glove Award winners

Per Rawlings, the Gold Glove Award represents overall fielding excellence and is not an award based solely on fielding metrics and statistics, nor does it factor offensive production. Managers and coaches vote on the award and are not permitted to select a player from their own team.

The SABR Defensive Index is also used to help pick the winners at each position. The Index draws on two types of defensive metrics, including those derived from batted-ball location-based metrics and those collected from play-by-play accounts, including Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating. Defensive metrics account for approximately 25 percent of the selection process.

Stroman ranked second in the AL among starting pitchers with five. Pillar finished second with 15 Defensive Runs Saved in center, trailing only Buxton's 24. Pillar also finished second to Buxton in Ultimate Zone Rating (6.0 vs. 9.9). Despite his reputation as one of the best outfielders in baseball, Pillar has yet to win a Gold Glove, but in 2015, he was named Wilson's Defensive Player of the Year.

Some of the signature plays Pillar will be remembered for this season were crashing into the wall at Wrigley Field to make a grab on Aug. 20 to take extra bases away from Kris Bryant and another of his trademark diving Superman catches on May 9 to take a hit away from Cleveland's Jose Ramirez. Stroman is known for his agility and athleticism on the mound and his ability to defend the bunt.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Kevin Pillar, Marcus Stroman