This past Tuesday night, the MLB announced the winners for the Gold Glove awards given to the best defensive player at each position for each league. The Washington Nationals had two players as finalists, Denard Span and Ian Desmond, and both were denied their first-career Gold Glove awards.
For Desmond, this doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. He didn’t have a bad year, but it was very inconsistent. For the first couple months of the season, Desmond led all shortstops in errors and committed 20 errors for a fielding percentage of .971. He turned a career-high 96 double plays and had a career-high 700 total chances. Simply put, Desmond’s season wasn’t consistent enough, and the winner, Atlanta Braves‘ Andrelton Simmons, had one heck of a year and was certainly deserving of the honor.
The other guy with his name in the hat stood in centerfield in the form of Denard Span. In just his first season with the Nationals, Span made one heck of an impact and was only beneficial. He finished with a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000 over 384 total chances. He also had two great diving grabs, with one of them being a game-winner in the top of the ninth with two outs against the San Francisco Giants.
Span’s denial comes as a bit of shock, as I felt that he was well deserving of the award. While Desmond’s case was simply inconsistent play, the same can’t be said for Span. However, the eventual winner, Milwaukee Brewers‘ Carlos Gómez, just plain had a better season, which is quite an impressive feat, considering how well Span played. One thing is for sure, nobody is questioning the move by Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to sign Span this past offseason.
While it’s okay for the Nationals to dwell on their players not getting these awards, it’s important to recognize that the Nationals had two players even up for this award. Just a few years ago, this team was a laughing stock of baseball and there wasn’t a single player, other than Ryan Zimmerman, that was even considered for postseason awards. This is just another testament to the job that Rizzo has done, and only adds to the excitement that should be surrounding this team for the 2014 season.