All season, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon touted the strength of his infield defense, saying it was the best in baseball.
That claim was supported Friday when the finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for defense were announced. Included in the American League were all four members of the Rays infield – first baseman James Loney, second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Yunel Escobar and third baseman Evan Longoria.
The winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN2.
Longoria is a two-time Gold Glove winner, having been named the American League’s top fielding third baseman in 2009 and 2010. Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson won the award last season. Former first baseman Carlos Peña (2008) and left fielder Carl Crawford (2010) also won Gold Gloves.
The Rays infield committed a major league-low 36 errors in 2013.
Escobar led all major-league shortstops with a .989 fielding percentage. Zobrist led AL second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage.