The St. Louis Cardinals had two winners of 2009 National League Gold Gloves as announced on Wednesday, catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright. The award is Molina’s second consecutive and Wainwright’s first.
Molina was the only Cardinal named in 2008 and is generally recognized as the best catcher in the game.
The 27-year-old threw out over 40 percent of those attempting to steal against him, which is the best mark among NL catchers with at least 90 games played. Molina added eight pickoffs this season and has 34 in his career.
Molina made just five errors all season and logged a fielding percentage of .995. The native of Puerto Rico logged 82 assists and participated in six double plays. He led the majors in starts by a catcher with 136.
Wainwright paced the NL in wins with 19 and innings pitched with 233 and had the fourth-lowest ERA at 2.63. The 28-year-old right-hander made 27 putouts on the season without making an error.
Wainwright is considered a leading candidate for the NL Cy Young Award and while a good defender, may not be the best fielding pitcher on his own team.
St. Louis tied Philadelphia and the Dodgers with two selections each on the nine-man squad.
Other Cardinals missing out this year include first baseman Albert Pujols and shortstop Brendan Ryan. San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez repeated at first base and had half the errors of Pujols, the 2006 winner. The selection is not a bad one, though Pujols is very close.
Ryan, a first-year starter, has not yet proven his consistency over the long haul and likely did not seriously threaten the candidacies of the winner, Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins, and strong contender, Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award was established in 1957 and is presented annually to 18 players – one for each position – in both the American and National Leagues. Winners are selected by Major League coaches and managers prior to the conclusion of the regular season. Managers and coaches may not vote for players from their own club and only vote for players in their own league.
Bonus for The Cardinal Nation subscribers: A very humble and “astonished" Wainwright discusses his Gold Glove Award on Wednesday afternoon in this audio interview after having completed a day of hunting back home in Georgia:
Listen to Audio (7:14)
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at his blog, The Cardinal Nation blog.
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