The finalists for the 2021 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were released just prior to the holiday weekend. MLB.com’s David Adler broke them down by category, which was great and kind and convenient for those parties interested in reading about those select few who could go home with some hardware to commemorate their defensive work during the 2021 MLB season.
Of course, if you’re a Cincinnati Reds fan, you may just not have any interest there at all. That’s because there were zero Reds named even as finalists this time around.
Defense was one of the many things the club was apparently willing to punt last season - bullpen being the most obvious. From the moment they became willing to use Eugenio Suarez at SS, that should’ve been quite clear. Injuries to Shogo Akiyama and Nick Senzel eventually turned their outfield into a slug first, defend last group on most days, too. In reality, the lone position where the Reds likely had a chance to pick up a Gold Glove was behind the plate, as both Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson were brilliant at the position, but Yadier Molina apparently was worthy of consideration there one more time (along with the admittedly excellent Kevin Stallings and JT Realmuto).
In other baseball news, it would appear that the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to sign star SS Corey Seager to a contract extension earlier this season. Seager balked and will now become a free agent at the conclusion of the World Series, joining an incredibly star-studded class there alongside Carlos Correa, Javy Baez, Marcus Semien, and Trevor Story. That would ideally be newsy in a Cincinnati Reds world, since SS is one of the positions where there is room for improvement. Alas, that would require “money,” and it once again remains to be seen whether that can be mined on the Reds planet.
The ambitions San Diego Padres have made their acquisition of manager Bob Melvin official, plucking him away from the Oakland A’s in a move rarely seen in the baseball world. They, like, just asked Melvin to switch teams while he was already under contract, Melvin said ‘sure,’ and the A’s were all ‘that’s cool, see ya later man thanks.’ Weird, and it will mean Skip Schumaker will not be the next Padres manager.
In other hiring news, the Texas Rangers have named Donnie Ecker as their bench coach. You’ll remember Ecker for his time as the Reds assistant hitting coach prior to him moving to San Francisco to the non-assistant-actual-head hitting coach for the Giants.
Over at Reds Minor Leagues dot com, Doug Gray kicked off his ranking of the Top 25 prospects within the Cincinnati system today with numbers 25-21. He’ll be counting them down there all week, so tune in and let him know how wrong he is in the comment section daily. He’ll appreciate it!
The Reds should trade for Ketel Marte. I don’t have a link for that other than to his webpage full of statistics, but he mauls LHP, can play everywhere (including CF, most importantly), and is under team control for a trio of seasons at a rate considered reasonable by teams who live on planets where “money” can be actively mined.
Remember Jeter Downs? The former 1st round pick of the Reds who’s since been shipped to the Dodgers in The Kyle Farmer Trade and then to Boston in exchange for Mookie Betts has played in 9 games in the Arizona Fall League in Arizona this Fall in the League there. He’s got 9 hits in those 9 games. 5 of them are homers, which has him tied for the lead in the League there in Arizona where they’re playing this Fall.