Wednesday, Rawlings announced that two Cardinals are finalists at their positions for the Gold Gloves; catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright are among the top 3 in their positions for defense according to the company.
Molina, a 6 time winner, is up for the award even though he missed 7 weeks of the season. The Cardinal’s backstop had a catchers ERA of 3.19 and saved 8 runs behind the plate. He’s up against the Milwaukee Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Russ Martin; both saved more runs than Molina the regular season (they were ranked Martin, Lucroy and Molina for the top 3 in the NL). Since he missed time, the other 2 players might have the advantage.
Wainwright is vying for his third Gold Glove and will be competing against the Los Angeles Dodgers starters Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Wainwright saved 5 runs with his defense, but ranks behind Kershaw. Kershaw might be taking this award from Wainwright, which appears to be the same for the Cy Young Award too.
The Sporting News got into the award announcements too; the publication announced Wednesday its post-season All Star team which included Jhonny Peralta. Peralta beat out incumbent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; Tulo spent a majority of the season on the disabled list. Peralta led the Cardinals in WAR (5.4) and homers (21) while playing average defense. The defense was the key, as Peralta has a history of being below average in the field; so much so that the Indians shifted him to third base, where he was a better fit.
The Sporting News also announced that Kolten Wong was third in NL Rookie of the Year voting and Mike Matheny was second in Manager of the Year. These rewards are based off a poll of players and could match that the BBWAA thinks in November.
Cardinal fans in Jupiter are much happier. Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners for Palm Beach County approved financing for two additional teams to build spring training facilities in the area; both the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros are working to select sites to build complexes. This is big for the Cardinals, as they have an opt out clause in their lease if one of the remaining east coast teams were to leave; the lease doesn’t expire until 2027.
With the Nationals set to move closer to Jupiter, the Cardinals should be happy; with the current setup of the Grapefruit League, the Cardinals have a lot of travel on their schedule and they can only play the east coast team so many times. Along with the Mets in Port St. Lucie, the Marlins sharing Roger Dean Stadium and the Nationals already nearby in Viera, the Cardinals will gain a 4th team on the coast and limit travel across Florida.
This is also important, as the team’s Hi A affiliate uses Roger Dean Stadium during the season and would have possibly moved with the big league club.