Can Royals left fielder Alex Gordon join second baseman Frank White as the only player in franchise history to win three successive Gold Gloves for defensive excellence?
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
The answer comes Tuesday night when Rawlings announces this years recipients in a live broadcast at 7 p.m. Central time on ESPN2. Gordon is one of five Royals who made the cut to three finalists at each position.
The others are catcher Salvy Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer, shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain. None of the other four has ever won the award.
The Fielding Bible cited Gordon on Monday as the best defensive left fielder in the majors for a second straight year. He was the only Royals player recognized among the nine selections, which cover both leagues.
Gordon is already one of just three players in Royals history to win the award more than once. White was an eight-time recipient, including six in a row in 1977-82. Outfielder Amos Otis won in 1971, 1973 and 1974.
The award is determined through a vote by the managers and up to six coaches from each club plus, for the first time, a sabermetric-based component consisting of various defensive metrics.
Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Rawlings said the new sabermetric component accounts for 25-30 percent of the voting total.
Fangraphs recently crunched the numbers and found Gordon, Perez, Escobar and Cain each deserve to win Gold Gloves. It also found Hosmer did not deserve to be among the finalists.
Gordons competitors in left field are Oaklands Yoenis Cespedes and Detroits Andy Dirks. Neither Cespedes nor Dirks has ever won a Gold Glove.
Perez is matched against Baltimores Matt Wieters, the 2011 and 2012 recipient, and Minnesotas Joe Mauer, who won in 2008-10.
Hosmer was a finalist last season and is battling Baltimores Chris Davis and Tampa Bays James Loney. None of the three has ever won the award.
Escobar is a finalist with Baltimores J.J. Hardy, who won last year, and Tampa Bays Yunel Escobar.
Cain is matched with Baltimores Adam Jones, who won last year, and Bostons Jacoby Ellsbury, who was the 2011 recipient.
Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, ranked recently by The Star as the Royals No. 4 prospect, will take part Saturday in the Arizona Fall League All-Star game in Surprise, Ariz.
Bonifacio, 20, is 10 for 39 through 11 games for Peoria and will play for the West Division. He batted a combined .298 this season with four homers and 54 RBIs in 88 games for three clubs in the Royals farm system.
The game starts at 7 p.m. Central time Saturday and can be seen on the MLB Network.
Reliever Kelvin Herrera opened his winter-ball season last Friday by striking out four in 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the Escogido Lions in a 4-2 victory over the East Bulls in the Dominican League.
Herrera allowed one hit, a single, and no walks and got credit for the victory.
Winter leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico are under way. The Puerto Rico winter league starts Friday. The Arizona Fall League is roughly midway through its schedule.
Major League players who participate in the Caribbean leagues generally do so on a limited basis.
The only other player on the Royals 40-man roster currently in action is left-hander Noel Arguelles, who has allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League. He also has two strikeouts and six walks.
Former Star staffer elected
La Velle E. Neal III, a former Kansas City Star sportswriter who now works for the Minneapolis Star Tribune , was elected Saturday as the national president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Neal, 48, left The Star in 1998 to cover the Twins for the Star Tribune.
It was 17 years ago Monday Oct. 28, 1996 that the Royals traded pitcher Mark Gubicza and minor-league pitcher Mike Bovee to the Anaheim Angels for designated hitter Chili Davis.
Davis, at age 37, batted .279 with 30 homers and 90 RBIs in 140 games for the Royals in 1997 before departing after that season as a free agent. He signed with the New York Yankees and played two more years.
Gubicza, at 34, made just two starts in 1997 for the Angels before an injury ended his career. Bovee appeared in three games in 1997 for the Angels but never again pitched in the big leagues.
The Royals inducted Gubicza into their Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of his 13 seasons with the club. He was 132-135 with a 3.91 ERA in 1984-96 and was an All-Star selection in 1988 and 1989.
To reach Bob Dutton, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/Royals_Report.