photo: Kolten Wong (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)
As MLB’s award season begins, St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong won two prestigious defensive honors. Our history feature looks back at prior St. Louis Gold Glove Award winners, starting with The Wizard.
First changes to 40-man roster
November is the first full month of Major League Baseball’s offseason and is the time when teams must finalize their 40-man rosters for the Rule 5 draft, which occurs in December. Each year, teams have until November 20 to make necessary additions and subtractions to the roster to add non-roster players who the organization wishes to protect from the draft. Teams must also make additions in the form of players who ended the season on the 60-day injured list and who must be returned to the roster.
The first wave of changes were made by the Cardinals this past week when Jordan Hicks, Brett Cecil, and Lane Thomas were returned to the roster after finishing the season on the injured list. Pitcher Tony Cingrani had also been on the 60-day injured list, but he was not added back because he had elected free agency.
Four other Cardinals also elected free agency – Marcell Ozuna, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Matt Wieters. Two other players came off the roster as well. Catcher Joe Hudson and reliever Mike Mayers were placed on outright waivers. Hudson cleared waivers and was assigned to Memphis, and Mayers was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels. Hudson will likely elect minor league free agency rather than return in 2020.
Following the subtraction of the four free agents plus Hudson and Mayers, the roster contained 34 players. The return of Hicks, Cecil, and Thomas brought the number up to 37.
Additional changes to the roster will occur prior to November 20. The Cardinals are likely to add several non-roster minor league players to the roster for Rule 5 protection purposes. Prime candidates are pitcher Jake Woodford and infielder Elehuris Montero. Should the Cardinals decide to re-sign any of the free agents (Wainwright and Wieters may be the more likely players to return) then further subtractions from the roster may be required.
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Wong honored with two defensive awards
This past week, Kolten Wong was announced as the winner of the Fielding Bible Award as MLB’s best defender at second base for 2019. The Fielding Bible Award began in 2006 and recognizes the best defensive player at each of the nine positions for that season based on statistical analysis. The award is given out regardless of league. A panel of voters, consisting of baseball analysts and writers, make the selection and the winners are announced on the website, which is located at www.fieldingbible.com.
Wong also won last season, making this his second Fielding Bible award. The choice of Wong was unanimous among the voters on the panel.
Wong is also the recipient of the 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for second base in the National League. The winners were announced on Sunday night, with Wong the only winner among six Cardinals finalists. Wong led all of MLB and the NL in both Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) with 14 and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) with a rating of 5.2.
Wong is a first time Gold Glove Award winner. He was a finalist last season but lost out to D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies, who is now with the Yankees.
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Shannon named Ford C. Frick Award finalist
Former Cardinals player and long-time radio broadcaster Mike Shannon is among eight finalists for the annual Ford C. Frick Award. The award is presented by the Baseball Hall of Fame and recognizes a broadcaster for his or her “major contributions to baseball”. The award is named after the Commissioner of Baseball from 1951 through 1955.
Though the award is given out by the Hall of Fame, winners are not inducted into the Hall. Each annual winner gives a speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in July of each year, and their names are added to a plaque located in the library of the Hall.
Shannon, 80, has been one of the voices of the Cardinals on St. Louis radio for 48 years. He worked with the legendary Jack Buck, and currently mans the booth alongside colleagues John Rooney, and former Cardinal Rick Horton. The latter covers road games during the season in place of Shannon, who no longer travels with the team. Shannon played for the Cardinals for nine seasons back in the 1960s.
The other finalists for the award are Boston broadcasters Joe Castiglione and the late Ned Martin, Cubs radio announcer Pat Hughes, former White Sox broadcaster Ken Harrelson, Cleveland Indians play by play radio announcer Tom Hamilton, and former Montreal, and current Toronto Blue Jays French radio announcer Jacques Doucet.
The Frick Award winner will be announced on December 11 during Baseball’s Winter Meetings.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
- 10/31 LF Marcell Ozuna, C Matt Wieters, RHP Adam Wainwright, RHP Michael Wacha, and LHP Tony Cingrani all elected free agency.
- 11/1 The Cardinals activated RHP Jordan Hicks, LHP Brett Cecil, and OF Lane Thomas from the 60-day injured list.
- 11/1 The Cardinals sent C Joe Hudson outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 11/1 RHP Mike Mayers was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels.
- P Carlos Martinez (right shoulder) had a “small procedure” that consisted of a platelet rich plasma injection in his right shoulder to address persistent shoulder soreness and weakness. His recurring issues with the shoulder kept Martinez out of the starting rotation and in the bullpen for the 2019 season. Martinez is expected to have a normal offseason and Spring Training and also be back in the mix for the starting rotation in 2020.
Five 2019 Cardinals became free agents this past week – Marcell Ozuna, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Matt Wieters, and Tony Cingrani. The team’s exclusive window for negotiating with free agents ends at 4 pm CT on Monday. Any qualifying offers the Cardinals wish to tender to free agents must be made at that time. It is likely only Marcell Ozuna will be offered the qualifying offer for a one-year contract from among the five free agents. Qualifying offers must be accepted or declined by 4 pm CT on November 14.
The Cardinals have begun making moves to the 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft. The roster must be finalized by November 20. The five free agents are no longer on the roster, and the Cardinals have added three players from the 60-day injured list back on to the roster – Jordan Hicks, Brett Cecil, and Lane Thomas. The Cardinals outrighted C Joe Hudson from the roster, and RHP Mike Mayers was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels. The roster now stands at 37.
Further roster moves are almost certain to be made prior to the November 20 deadline. Any non-roster players the Cardinals wish to protect from the Rule 5 draft must be added by then.
Notable events occurring in November also include the General Manager Meetings on November 11-14, and the Owners Meeting on November 19-21. Offseason awards will be announced during the period November 3-14, beginning with the Gold Glove Awards on November 3. The finalists for all BBWAA awards will be announced on November 4. The first of the BBWAA awards, the Silver Slugger, will be awarded to a finalist at each position in each league on November 7.
Blast from the Past
The annual Gold Glove Award winners were announced on Sunday night, November 3 on ESPN. The Cardinals had six finalists – catcher Yadier Molina, pitcher Jack Flaherty, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, second baseman Kolten Wong, shortstop Paul DeJong, and center fielder Harrison Bader. Wong was the only winner. This week’s Blast from the Past takes a look at some former Cardinal winners of the award.
The Cardinals have had 22 players win Gold Gloves over the history of the award, which was first given out in 1957. The first year, the award was given to the top fielder at each position regardless of league. Beginning in 1958, the award was given to the top fielder at each position in both leagues.
From 1957 to 1960, separate awards were given for each of the three outfield positions. In 1961 through 2010, the award was given to three outfielders in each league irrespective of position (so it could be three right fielders or three left fielders, and so on). In 2011, the original method of one award for each outfield position in each league returned.
The player with the most Gold Glove Awards as a Cardinal is shortstop Ozzie Smith, with 11. Smith won 13 Gold Gloves overall, with the first two coming when he was with the San Diego Padres.
First Baseman Keith Hernandez has won 11 Gold Gloves overall, six of which he received while playing first base for St. Louis. The next highest number of awards while playing for the Cardinals is nine by current catcher Yadier Molina. Molina was a finalist for this year’s Gold Glove but did not win. Other Cardinal catchers with Gold Gloves are Tom Pagnozzi and Mike Matheny, each with three.
Current first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has three Gold Gloves received while playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was a finalist this year but lost out to Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Current second baseman Kolten Wong won his first Gold Glove this season after losing out to Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu in 2018. The only other Cardinal second sacker to win a Gold Glove was Fernando Vina, winner in 2001 and 2002.
Pitcher Jack Flaherty, shortstop Paul DeJong, and center fielder Harrison Bader were first time finalists. Former Cardinal pitchers to win the award are Bobby Shantz with three, from 1962-64, Bob Gibson, who has nine Gold Gloves, Joaquin Andujar, who won in 1984, and Adam Wainwright, who has two Gold Gloves, one in 2009 and the other in 2013.
Along with Smith, shortstop Dal Maxvill won the award in 1968, and shortstop Edgar Renteria was selected in both 2002 and 2003. Former St. Louis outfield winners are Curt Flood, with seven Gold Gloves, Willie McGee with three, Jim Edmonds with six, and Jason Heyward, who won in right field in 2015. Flood and Edmonds were exclusively center fielders, while McGee played both center field and right field.
St. Louis did not have a third base finalist this season, but former Cardinals Ken Boyer, Ken Reitz, Terry Pendleton, and Scott Rolen have each won the award. Reitz won only once, while Boyer has five Gold Gloves, Pendleton has two, and Rolen earned four Gold Gloves as a Cardinal.
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