4) Forget Those Reports About Andrelton Simmons Stealing Esky’s Gold Glove
Last winter, most pundits believed Alcides Escobar‘s reign as Gold Glove shortstop in the AL would be a one year affair when the Los Angeles Angels traded with the Braves to acquire Andrelton Simmons.
Not so fast.
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Simmons tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb (glove hand) on May 8 and will be out until July. Meanwhile, Alcides Escobar is making plays like this from Friday night (click the link, everyone. It’s well worth it).
Escobar rescued the Kansas City Royals from a sticky situation in the seventh when Soria gave up a hit and a walk to put the tying run at the plate in the person of slugger Todd Frazier, who is tied for the AL lead with 12 home runs. Frazier hit a screaming line drive to short that Escobar speared with a lunge to his right and turned with a perfect throw to double off the runner at second.
Yeah, Andrelton. Super-Esky isn’t going to give up the AL shortstop hardware without a fight.
Though I must confess, Fangraphs.com’s defensive metrics don’t love Esky that much. Their DEF metric rates Escobar a mere 17th in defense with a slightly above average mark of 0.1 (compared to 6.0 for Simmons). Ultimate Zone Rating has Escobar at a -5.0, which is considerably below average.
Go figure. By the eye test, that’s just not true at all.
Next: Paulo Orlando