Throughout the season, it was clear the Orioles had a Gold Glove Award finalist on the left side of their infield. That proved true Thursday, but in an unexpected way.
Baltimore third baseman Ramón Urías and center fielder Cedric Mullins were named American League Gold Glove finalists, Rawlings announced Thursday, but shortstop Jorge Mateo’s dazzling defensive season went unrecognized. Managers and six coaches per team determine the finalists.
Urías, a finalist alongside the Cleveland Guardians’ José Ramírez and Toronto Blue Jays’ Matt Chapman, tied with the New York Yankees’ Josh Donaldson for the AL lead among third basemen in Statcast’s Outs Above Average with seven. Ramírez and Chapman each recorded one. Urías also led all AL third baseman with 14 defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs. He posted those figures despite playing more than 300 fewer innings at the position than Ramírez and Chapman, who each had two Defensive Runs Saved.
Mullins was surprisingly not a finalist in 2021 but earned the honor this season alongside Cleveland’s Myles Straw and the Kansas City Royals’ Michael A. Taylor. Straw’s 13 Outs Above Average led the trio, with Mullins at eight and Taylor at 5. Taylor was the leader with 19 Defensive Runs Saved, best among all center fielders, with Straw close behind at 17 while Mullins put up five.
Mateo, meanwhile, was the anchor of the Orioles’ infield and used his speed and arm for a highlight-filled season. His 11 Outs Above Average were the most among AL shortstops, while his 14 Defensive Runs Saved were only one behind Houston Astros rookie Jeremy Peña, who joined the Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaers and the Minnesota Twins’ Carlos Correa as finalists. Bogaerts had five Outs Above Average and four Defensive Runs Saved, while Correa had minus-3 Outs Above Average and three Defensive Runs Saved.
Mateo was not alone among the Orioles’ snubs, with first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and catcher Adley Rutschman also having cases. AL shortstop was one of three positions where at least one of the league leaders in Outs Above Average wasn’t among the finalists, with the others being AL first baseman — Mountcastle tied with three others at three — and AL center fielder; Jose Siri, who went from Houston to Tampa Bay in the three-team trade that sent Orioles first baseman/designated Trey Mancini to the Astros, had 14, one ahead of Straw. Outs Above Average aren’t calculated for catchers, but Rutschman ranked second among catchers in Defensive Runs Saved.
An Oriole has not won a Gold Glove since third baseman Manny Machado in 2015.
Around the horn
- The Orioles announced Wednesday they agreed to terms on a 2023 contract with catcher Anthony Bemboom; it’s a split contract, according to a source with direct knowledge of the agreement, meaning Bemboom will be paid differently depending on whether he is in the minors or majors.
- A pair of recently designated right-handers completed the waiver process and had different results. While Louis Head went unclaimed and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Beau Sulser.
- Right-hander Denni Reyes, who made his first three major league appearances this year for Baltimore, elected free agency.
Baltimore Sun reporter Andy Kostka contributed to this article.
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