|Gonzalez and Arenado brought home Gold Gloves on Tuesday.|
Gonzalez, though hampered again by nagging injuries that forced him to miss a large chunk of the second half of the 2013 season, was an easy pick for the award. CarGo consistently makes extremely difficult plays look very easy. Runners trying to take the extra base got a not-so-subtle reminder that Gonzalez can accurately put the ball on the glove of any defender standing at any base.
Going into the season, Gonzalez was a strong favorite for the award. He is largely regarded as one of the best outfielders in the game. He has center field speed, a right field arm all packed into a left field position. That nearly ensures him as one of the finalists for the award every season.
Arenado taking home the award was a small surprise. Anyone who watched the rookie knows that breath-taking plays at third base followed by phenomenal throws to first base became routine. There didn't seem to be a day that went by that Arenado didn't leave fans with their jaws dropped in amazement.
As good as those who saw him every day know he was, it is rare for a rookie to win the war. The Gold Glove is supposed to represent defense, but follow baseball for any given amount of time and it becomes evident that the award is more of an honorable mention to someone who deserves extra attention. It is only sometimes given to the person who has performed the best at that defensive spot. As weird as that is, it is simply how the award works.
Arenado's defense was so good that it was difficult to overlook it and give it to someone who might have won for other reasons. Even more impressive is that he didn't make his big league debut until the end of April, something that made his ascent to the top of the pack an extremely difficult one.
The award is something that Arenado should cherish. When he was in Single-A Asheville, the scouting reports on him suggested that he was a potential Major League bat. Scouts were impressed with his bat, but to be nice, were less than impressed with his glove. His range was non-existent. His footwork was unimpressive, and scouts suggested that even a move to first base wouldn't help him.
Scouts usually aren't that far off. They may miss every now and then, but when the reports come back consistent across the board, it means there is an issue. The fact that Arenado worked hard enough to not only be a serviceable third baseman, but to be considered one of the best in the league is remarkable. The fact that he did it in his Major League debut season is nothing short of a testament to his work ethic. That should be exciting for Rockies fans looking for something to be positive about.
Some would argue that Troy Tulowitzki, another Rockies nominee and previous winner, got robbed from an award that he is the favorite to win every year. However, Andrelton Simmons of Atlanta took home the award, and frankly, made his mark in a breakout season. He deserved the award.
The awards for CarGo and Arenado are two positives for the Rockies in an offseason that needs more excitement than has been seen in the past. The Rockies have given some hints that they are going to spend some money either through free agency or trade. The team has huge holes to fill at first base, at the back end of the rotation and in the bullpen. They are in desperate need of someone who can anchor the lineup and stay healthy enough to play 150 or more games.
The wishlist might be long, but for now, the Rockies and their fans should celebrate the Gold Gloves along with Gonzalez and Arenado.
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