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4 Cardinals named Gold Glove award finalists, including rookie Brendan Donovan

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Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) throws to first to complete the double play after tagging out Chicago Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner (2) on the base path to end the top of the seventh inning in during a game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

In the first year that it is handed out, the Rawlings utility Gold Glove will have two Cardinals contending for it as Tommy Edman, who is also a Gold Glove finalist at second base, and Brendan Donovan were named on Thursday as finalists to take home the award.

The pair of versatile defenders were two of four Cardinals named as finalists for this year’s set of awards given to the top defensive players at each position in each league. Third baseman Nolan Arenado and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt joined the two as finalists. Edman is one of two players to be named a finalist at more than one position. 

Arenado is aiming for his 10th consecutive Gold Glove award at third base. He took home his first Gold Glove as a rookie in 2013 with Colorado and has won it every season since then. Winning the award this year would be his second time as a Cardinal after he won it in 2021.

Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates and Ryan McMahon of the Rockies were named finalists for NL third baseman along with Arenado. Hayes led all National League defenders in defensive runs saved with plus-24, according to FanGraphs. McMahon (plus-22) and Arenado (plus-19) finished behind him.

When it comes to ultimate zone rating, which is similar to DRS in that it measures a defender's ability to save runs compared with the average fielder, Arenado was second in all of the majors with a 13.0 rating behind Cleveland center fielder Myles Straw’s 13.2. Hayes ended 2022 with a 6.3 rating and McMahon with a 3.4 rating.

Among National League first basemen, Goldschmidt led the league with a .999 fielding percentage and 118 double plays turned. Goldschmidt — a four-time Gold Glove winner — committed two errors in 1,163 defensive chances. He previously won a Gold Glove in 2021 with St. Louis and three while with Arizona.

Cardinals kick off last home series against Pittsburgh Pirates

St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Brendan Donovan (33) fields a RBI bunt single by Pittsburgh Pirates Ji Hwan Bae (71) in the fourth inning of a baseball against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, at Busch Stadium. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Matt Olson of the Braves and Christian Walker of the Diamondbacks were named alongside Goldschmidt as finalists. Walker led all first baseman across MLB in defensive runs saved with plus-17, according to FanGraphs. The next closest first baseman to Walker in that category was Colorado’s C.J. Cron, who had plus-five. Goldschmidt ended the year with plus-two.

Because of his shift from second base to shortstop midway through May, Edman played 614⅔ innings at second base, giving him the fewest innings among the NL finalists for the position. San Diego’s Jake Cronenworth and Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers — the other two finalists — each played more than 1,100 innings at second.

Despite the gap, Edman finished the year ranked third in outs above average with 19 and tied for third with Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson in runs prevented with 15, according to Statcast. Edman was awarded the Gold Glove for NL second basemen a year ago and could take home two awards this year. 

St. Louis Cardinals vs Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Tommy Edman (19) throws to first for the out in the first inning during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. 

In his rookie year, Donovan played every position except pitcher, catcher and center field. He received the bulk of his playing time at second base, where he played 264⅓ innings (38 games) and had a 1.000 fielding percentage. Overall, Donovan ended the year with a .982 fielding percentage and committed seven errors in 395 chances as a super utility player.

Arizona’s Daulton Varsho was named as the third finalist for the utility Gold Glove. Varsho, who was also named a finalist for right field, spent time in right, center and at catcher for the Diamondbacks. He had a .989 fielding percentage as an outfielder and was first in outs above average with 17 among all outfielders, according to FanGraphs.

The Gold Glove Award winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Nov. 1 during ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” broadcast.

In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman recalls a famous moment in Cardinals’ World Series history. Also, a happy birthday shoutout to Judge Judy! And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat. Ten Hochman is presented by Window Nation!

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