Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Mariners infield were included as finalists in their respective positions for the AL Gold Glove, with the winners being announced on Tuesday evening.
Although more advanced defensive metrics have slowly belittled the stature of the Gold Glove, Ryan and Ackley's possible inclusions allow the Mariners to start up one of the few positive streaks they have had lately. Last year, the Mariners didn't have a single Gold Glove winner, the first time in 24 years that has happened.
Three finalists are nominated for each position and Ryan should be the one that brings the glory home for the Mariners. He just recently won the Fielding Bible Award as the single best defensive player in baseball. He led all shortstops with 27 defensive runs saved. He is joined by J.J. Hardy and Elvis Andrus. Neither Erick Aybar (who won last year) nor Derek Jeter (two years before that) made the cut.
Ackley has stiffer competition against Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano. Both Pedroia and Cano have won Gold Gloves at second base before, although Ackley was quite good in his first full season at second base. He tied for third among AL second basemen with 11 runs saved and only made seven errors all year.
The Mariners finished the year tied for the AL lead with a .988 fielding percentage, second-best in club history .