First, congratulations to Dallas Keuchel and Jose Altuve for winning Gold Gloves.
Keuchel has long been recognized for his glove, but Altuve used to be seen as a defensive liability. Frankly, for both, it shows what hard work will do. Could not be more proud, and I’m betting Becky is just beaming this morning.
The last time two Astros won Gold Gloves in the same year was 1994 when Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio won. The most decorated defensive year for the Astros was 1973 when Roger Metzger, Cesar Cedeno and Doug Rader won Gold Gloves.
Yep, so this is a pretty special year, and the Astros. And the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young haven’t even been awarded yet. And the Astros just missed three Gold Gloves this year because Salvador Perez topped finalist Jason Castro at catcher. (The Royals won three GGs, so …)
It’s no coincidence that good defensive play (Jake Marisnick, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Colby Rasmus, heck, even Chris Carter wasn’t horrible at first base) and winning go hand-in-hand. Here’s a look at just what having two Gold Glovers do for you.
In 2014, as a team, the Astros totaled -13 Defensive Runs Saved Above Average, which is the number of runs above or below average the player was worth based on the number of plays made. That means on a whole, the Astros defense gave away 13 runs. In 2014, Marisnick lead the team with 17 Rdrs, Keuchel had 10. Meanwhile Altuve had -7 (as did Scott Feldman) and Dexter Fowler oops-ed his way to -20 Rdrs. Yeah, Fowler was that bad in the outfield.
Compare that to 2015. The Astros posted a positive 37 Rdrs. That’s a 50 run improvement.
How you like that, Becky?
Keuchel and, again, Marisnick led the team with 13 Rdrs apiece. Altuve totaled 3 positive Rdrs, a 10-run swing.
… And that’s my post. Defense matters. Gold Gloves mean something (when not won by a member of the New York Yankees … Derek Jeter, please).
1. Do you think Keuchel and Altuve were deserving?
2. Upset Castro didn’t win, or did you expect that?
3. Springer had 6 Rdrs, but was projected for 8 if he’d played the whole season. How important is it we keep him healthy for a danged change?
4. Of the five main outfielders — Marisnick, Rasmus, Springer, Carlos Gomez and Preston Tucker — all but Tucker were on the plus side. Can this team live with his -5 (projected -9 if he’s full-time) based on his bat?
5. Mike Fiers and Collin McHugh both had 3 Rdrs. All the more reason to keep them in the rotation, I expect.