DETROIT -- The Tigers haven't had a Gold Glove Award-winning infielder since 2009. They haven't had multiple Gold Glove Award winners in a season since '07. They'll have a chance at both this year.Pitcher Justin Verlander, catcher James McCann, second baseman Ian Kinsler and shortstop José Iglesias were all announced
DETROIT -- The Tigers haven't had a Gold Glove Award-winning infielder since 2009. They haven't had multiple Gold Glove Award winners in a season since '07. They'll have a chance at both this year.
Pitcher Justin Verlander, catcher James McCann, second baseman Ian Kinsler and shortstop José Iglesias were all announced as finalists at their respective positions Thursday, as Rawlings announced the Gold Glove Award field on its Twitter account. Winners will be revealed on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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For a team whose only Gold Glove Award winner over the past five years was Yoenis Céspedes for his half-season manning left field in Detroit last year, it's a nice bit of progress. For Kinsler, it's another chance at an honor that has eluded him over the years despite a compilation of defensive metrics in his favor.
Major League managers and coaches, voting only within their league and unable to vote for players on their own teams, account for 75 percent of the selection process. The other 25 percent goes to the sabermetrics community.
Kinsler is a finalist for the third time in as many seasons as a Tiger. He has dominated his position in Defensive Runs Saved all three years in Detroit, but he lost out to Dustin Pedroia in 2014 and José Altuve last year. Pedroia and Robinson Canó are the other finalists this year, with Pedroia back in the hunt for what would be his fifth Gold Glove Award victory.
Kinsler and Pedroia finished tied for the lead among AL second basemen this season with 12 DRS, with Cano at 11. Kinsler's 8.5 Ultimate Zone Rating trailed Pedroia (12.5).
The other three Tigers are first-time finalists. That includes Verlander, who picked off eight baserunners as a rookie in 2006 and had an errorless season in '07 but hadn't earned much regard for fielding his position until this year.
Verlander's five Defensive Runs Saved tied him for fourth among AL pitchers, as did his 29 assists. His standout stats, however, were on the pure pitching side, including his fourth strikeout title and his third time leading AL pitchers in Wins Above Replacement.
No AL pitcher has won a strikeout title and a Gold Glove Award in the same season since Seattle's Mark Langston in 1987. Clayton Kershaw did it on the National League side in 2011.
Two-time reigning AL Gold Glove Award winner Dallas Keuchel -- who led AL pitchers with seven DRS -- joins Verlander among the finalists, along with Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. If Verlander beats them out, he'll be the first Tigers pitcher to win a Gold Glove Award since Kenny Rogers in 2006.
Though McCann and Iglesias are both regarded as strong defensive defenders, they needed a few years to earn that regard among Gold Glove Award voters. McCann threw out 45 percent of would-be basestealers -- second-highest among AL catchers -- and led his position with nine double plays. His nine Defensive Runs Saved also ranked second.
In both caught-stealing percentage and DRS, McCann trailed Kansas City's Salvador Perez, who has won the past three AL Gold Glove Awards behind the plate. Not surprisingly, Perez is also a finalist, along with Angels backstop Carlos Perez. No Tigers catcher has won a Gold Glove Award since Ivan Rodriguez in 2007.
Though Iglesias has provided highlight-caliber plays since arriving in Detroit in 2013, he hadn't posted the statistics to reflect a full season of defensive prowess until this year. With just five errors in 574 chances, he posted an AL-best .991 fielding percentage. His 11.6 UZR ranked third among AL shortstops, dwarfing his 2.3 UZR last year.
Not since the great Alan Trammell in 1984 has a Tigers shortstop won a Gold Glove Award. And with Francisco Lindor and two-time NL Gold Glove Award winner Andrelton Simmons also finalists, Iglesias has a tough class to top.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.