Pirates' McCutchen, Marte, Martin named Gold Glove finalists
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a sliding catch in left center against the Cardinals on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Defense was a significant part of the Pirates' 94-win regular season, and on Friday, Pirates outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte and catcher Russell Martin were named Gold Glove finalists.
The award is given to the best defenders by position in each league.
McCutchen and Marte gave the Pirates essentially two center fielders to patrol the spacious PNC Park outfield. McCutchen and Marte have some of the best range among major league outfielders. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said earlier this month that the Pirates have the most athletic outfield in the game.
McCutchen, who improved his throwing ability this season and set a career-high with 11 outfield assists, won his first Gold Glove award last season.
Martin was perhaps the most important acquisition for the Pirates, and most of his value was tied to his defensive work.
Martin led the National League in throwing out 36 attempted base stealers and also received high marks for his pitching framing and sequencing.
Martin is seeking his second Gold Glove. He won the award in 2007 with the Dodgers.
The Pirates ranked fourth in the NL in defensive efficiency, the measure of turning batted balls into outs.
In the past, the Gold Glove awards had been determined only by managers and coaches, but this year 25 percent to 30 percent of the balloting will consist of votes from a sabermetric panel assembled by the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR).
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