PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were blanked in the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, announced Tuesday night.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, left fielder Starling Marte and catcher Russell Martin went 0-for-3 as finalists for the awards emblematic of defensive excellence.
With the selections influenced for the first time by defensive metrics provided by SABR, the National League Gold Gloves at their positions went to Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
The Pirates trio may have been impacted by those fielding metrics, which purport to portray a clearer picture of defensive superiority than do traditional fielding statistics. Gold Gloves, awarded since 1957, have historically been products of perception and spectacular plays that tended to make lasting impressions on selectors. The new approach makes defense more quantifiable.
The Gold Glove he earned in 2012 for the first time is about the only thing McCutchen dropped all season. His inability to retain the award may not be a true upset -- in 136 fewer innings, Gomez did have 70 more chances, a tipoff to his range -- but it was ironic.
By all accounts, McCutchen was an improved, more impactful defensive player this season than he had been in 2012, when the attention drawn by his offensive exploits helped earn him the Gold Glove.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.