After consecutive years where Tigers walked away with two gold glove awards, no Tigers won the award in 2008. No surprise, as the Tigers were below average as a team in defensive efficiency. Former Tiger first baseman Carlos Pena, often heralded as a slick fielder in his time with Detroit, won his first award this year.
Centerfield was the one positions I had to check because I’ve always thought Curtis Granderson was on par, if not better, then Grady Sizemore. I was surprised by the numbers for a couple of reasons. First, Granderson had a pretty mediocre year in the field this past year. His Revised Zone Rating of .921 put him in the bottom half, although it was better then Torii Hunter’s .889. So Sizemore not only had better range (.932) then Granderson did this year, but he also made eight more plays outside of his zone.
The other surprise was how good of a year Carlos Gomez had in the field and how he should have probably walked away with an award. He led all starting centerfielders with 104 plays outside of the zone and he was second to just Adam Jones with a .946 RZR. What probably hurt him were the eight errors, but I’d rather have a guy chase down 352 balls and misplay eight of them then, like Sizemore, make 309 plays and miss two.
Still, that’s how the Gold Gloves always go. You can always make an argument for a handful of guys who didn’t win, and put them in place of a few guys who aren’t deserving.