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Phillips wins fourth Gold Glove Award

Reds second baseman one shy of tying Morgan for franchise record

CINCINNATI -- For the fourth time in his career, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was recognized as the best defensively at his position when he was voted as a Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award winner.

The results from the voting last month by Major League managers and coaches were revealed on Tuesday night.

Phillips previously won Gold Glove Awards in 2008, 2010 and 2011. This year, he was a finalist along with the Cubs' Darwin Barney and the Dodgers' Mark Ellis.

With four Gold Glove Awards, Phillips is one away from tying the franchise's record holder at second base. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan won five straight for Cincinnati from 1973-77.

"Wow, hard work pays off," Phillips said in a statement released by the Reds. "It's an honor to have the NL managers and coaches select me to join this elite group of the league's best defenders. If it weren't for my Reds coaches, staff and teammates, especially [shortstop] Zack Cozart, for sticking with me even though I wasn't 100 percent toward the end of the season, this wouldn't have happened. I take pride in my defense and try to go out there to make the pitching staff feel comfortable while they're on the mound. I like being the pitcher's best friend. People overlook defense these days. Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. My family and I are happy to win this award again, and this one belongs to my city, Cincinnati."

Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was also a Gold Glove Award finalist for the third time in his career, but missed out again. D-backs right fielder Gerardo Parra took home the hardware.

The voting process was slightly altered this year, as managers and coaches received assistance from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). For the first time, Rawlings collaborated with SABR to formally incorporate sabermetrics as a component of the Gold Glove Award.

In traditional statistics, Phillips had a .987 fielding percentage that was fifth best in the NL, while his nine errors were fifth fewest in the league, but his most since 2009. Barney, who led the league at the position with a .993 fielding percentage, was tied with Jedd Gyorko of the Padres for the fewest errors with four.

Among his rankings in advanced, or sabermetric, statistics, Phillips was second among NL second basemen with an 8.6 ultimate zone rating while Barney led the category at 12.5. Ellis led the position in defensive runs saved with 12, followed by Barney at 11 while Phillips was fourth at one. Phillips was tied for fourth in range factor at 4.72.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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