Altuve, Keuchel win Gold Glove Awards
HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was just as happy for teammate Jose Altuve to take home his first Rawlings Gold Glove on Tuesday night as he was to learn he had won his second.
Keuchel, who's already won the Players Choice Award as Outstanding Pitcher in the American League and is a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award, took home his second consecutive Gold Glove. Altuve, a former batting champion, added a Gold Glove to his resume by topping the field at second base.
"I'm extremely excited," Keuchel said of Altuve. "I just texted him. He deserves everything he gets. He's a tremendous worker. He's one of those guys who's had to work for everything, like myself, so I think we have a common bond there. We know the competitive end one another shares, and I can't be more happy for that guy."
Catcher Jason Castro was also a finalist for an AL Gold Glove, which was awarded to the Royals' Salvador Perez.
Altuve led all Major League second baseman in 2015 in fielding percentage (.993), committing only five errors in 669 chances. That percentage was the highest by an Astros second baseman in a single season, surpassing the previous record of .992, set by Bill Doran in 1987. Altuve did not commit an error in his last 51 regular-season games
Keuchel led all AL pitchers in total chances (72) and assists (53) while ranking fourth among AL pitchers in putouts (18). He made just one error all season, for a .986 fielding percentage, giving him two errors in 138 chances over the last two seasons combined. He was one of only five AL pitchers to make one error or fewer while pitching 200 or more innings, joining R.A. Dickey, Sonny Gray, Corey Kluber and teammate Collin McHugh.
"A lot of people don't understand how close 60 feet, six inches is, and after you deliver the ball, you're even close to the mound," Keuchel said. "People don't realize how hard it is for a pitcher to be good at his position."
According to Fangraphs.com, Keuchel's 13 defensive runs saved were tops in the AL and eight more than that of fellow nominee Mark Buehrle of the Blue Jays, who was second.
"It's definitely something I take great pride in," Keuchel said of his defense. "I was a big fan of the Atlanta Braves growing up, and my favorite pitcher was John Smoltz. His teammate, Greg Maddux, had won 13 straight Gold Gloves at the time, and I wanted to be just like those guys. To get my second one, it's just as special as the first, and it's something that won't get old if I continue to achieve this."
Nine Astros have won a Gold Glove: Altuve (2015), Keuchel (2014-15), outfielder Michael Bourn (2009-10), catcher Brad Ausmus (2001-02, 2006), second baseman Craig Biggio (1994-97), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (1994), outfielder Cesar Cedeno (1972-76), third baseman Doug Rader (1970-74) and shortstop Roger Metzger (1973).
The Platinum Glove winners for the best overall defensive player in each league will be unveiled on Friday following a fan vote.