Lindor and Perez Named AL Gold Glove Winners
Vince Guerrieri | On 05, Nov 2019
Sunday night’s Gold Glove Awards reminded Indians fans of the sheer talent on display by Francisco Lindor – and showed off another player who blossomed in his first year playing full-time.
Lindor won his second Gold Glove at shortstop, and his first since 2016. He’d been outpaced by the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons in each of the previous two years. Catcher Roberto Perez was one of eight players to win their first Gold Glove this year – and the first Indians catcher to do so since Sandy Alomar (Ray Fosse also won the award as an Indians catcher). This marks the first time that multiple Indians players have won the award since 2001, when the double-play tandem of Roberto Alomar and Omar Vizquel won.
Lindor was second among American League shortstops with a .979 fielding percentage, and accounted for a plus-nine in the Defensive Runs Saved metric. Perez was a backup backstop prior to this season, but Yan Gomes’ trade to Washington paved the way for him to be the Tribe’s everyday catcher.
Perez turned out to be a pleasant surprise in a season that was plagued with unpleasant ones. He was a steadying influence on an Indians rotation that underwent more changes than it should have, with Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger spending time on the injured list, Carlos Carrasco missing time for what turned out to be a diagnosis of leukemia, and Trevor Bauer ultimately being traded to the Reds. With additions like Aaron Civale and Shane Bieber, Perez guided the Indians’ rotation to a staff ERA of 3.81, good for third best in the American League. He had plus-29 defensive runs saved and a 40.8 caught stealing percentage, best in the American League.
Possibly his most impressive statistic was that he caught the fourth-most innings in the majors this year (993 2/3) while not allowing a passed ball. It’s the most innings caught in a season without a passed ball since Johnny Bench caught 1,002 2/3 for the Reds in 1975. (Perez and Bench are also part of a short list of catchers with multiple home runs in a World Series game; Perez did it in his Fall Classic debut in Game 1 in 2016.) Perez also had a decent year at the plate, batting .239 and hitting 24 home runs – just one off the club record for a catcher in a season.
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images