TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey has become a household name around the league because of an infamous knuckleball, but on Tuesday night, it was his glove that got all of the attention.
2013 Gold glove winners
|POS||AL winner||NL winner|
|C||Salvador Perez, KC||Yadier Molina, STL|
|1B||Eric Hosmer, KC||Paul Goldschmidt, ARI|
|2B||Dustin Pedroia, BOS||Brandon Phillips, CIN|
|SS||J.J. Hardy, BAL||Andrelton Simmons, ATL|
|3B||Manny Machado, BAL||Nolan Arenado, COL|
|LF||Alex Gordon, KC||Carlos Gonzalez, COL|
|CF||Adam Jones, BAL||Carlos Gomez, MIL|
|RF||Shane Victorino, BOS||Gerardo Parra, ARI|
|P||R.A. Dickey, TOR||Adam Wainwright, STL|
Dickey edged out fellow Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle and Detroit right-hander Doug Fister to earn the first Gold Glove Award of his career. The award is handed out to the best defensive player at each position in both the American and National League.
The honor marked the second piece of hardware Dickey picked up over the past two days. He also won a Fielding Bible Award on Monday that was voted on by a 12-person panel of baseball analysts.
Dickey, who just completed his first year in Toronto, led all AL pitchers in assists with 40, and he finished tied for third in range factor per game at 1.50, according to Baseball Reference. He also ranked first in the AL with seven defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs, and he limited the opposition to just eight stolen bases despite being a knuckleballer.
The award for Dickey put an end to Buehrle's impressive streak of Gold Gloves. The 34-year-old Buehrle won the award in each of the past four years and was named as a finalist again this season, but he ultimately came up just short.
Dickey becomes the first Blue Jays pitcher to win the award in franchise history. The last time a Toronto player won a Gold Glove Award was center fielder Vernon Wells in 2006.
Dickey was acquired from the Mets last offseason in a deal that saw prospects Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and veteran catcher John Buck head to New York. The native of Tennessee finished the year with a 14-13 record and a 4.21 ERA while making all 34 of his starts despite dealing with a lingering neck injury during the first half.
The voting for the award was slightly altered this year. Since its inception in 1957, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award has relied solely on Major League managers and coaches votes to determine the best defensive players. Managers and coaches got an assist this year from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). For the first time, Rawlings collaborated with SABR to formally incorporate sabermetrics as a component of the Gold Glove Award.
A committee of experts in baseball analytics and defensive measurement devised the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), which draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball, location-based data, and those collected from play-by-play accounts.
The three metrics representing batted ball data include defensive runs saved (from Baseball Info Solutions), ultimate zone rating (developed by sabermetician Mitchel Lichtman), and runs effectively defended (created by SABR's Chris Dial).
The two metrics included in the SDI from play-by-play data are defensive regression analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and total zone rating.
The plan, according to Rawlings and SABR, was to have the SDI complement the judgement of the managers and coaches. The SABR Defensive Index accounted for 30 total votes -- or approximately 25 percent -- of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, and was added to the votes from the managers and coaches.