Tribe Hopes to Bring Home More Hardware This Week

The Cleveland Indians have already brought home some hardware this offseason, but two of the biggest remaining awards left to be acknowledged for play this past season are coming up this week.

With Major League Baseball set to announce four sets of awards this week, the Indians have a pair of big nominees in the running for two of baseball’s top honors. While the team does not have any representatives in the running for the Rookie of the Year and the Manager of the Year awards, pitcher Shane Bieber is the frontrunner for the American League’s Cy Young Award and third baseman Jose Ramirez is confirmed to be one of the top three finishers in the AL’s Most Valuable Player contest.

The offseason award tour has been fruitful for the Indians thus far.

Last Tuesday, two of the three Indians nominated were named winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at their respective positions.

Catcher Roberto Perez earned the honor for the second straight season, making him just the second backstop in Tribe history (Ray Fosse, 1970 & 1971) to receive multiple Gold Glove Awards while with the team. He finished a second straight season without allowing a passed ball and was the top catcher in the league at throwing out baserunners.

Second baseman Cesar Hernandez, now a free agent after a career year offensively and defensively in his first year with Cleveland, took home his first career Gold Glove Award in his first season in the American League after spending his first seven seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He led the AL in games played and assists at second base while recording the third-most putouts and participating in the third-most double plays by a junior circuit second baseman. His five total zone runs were second-best among league second basemen and his 4.7 defensive runs above average was best in baseball. He became the 16th different Indians player to win the award while with Cleveland since its 1957 inception.

Pitcher Zach Plesac was one of three pitchers nominated for the award. Los Angeles hurler Griffin Canning was the Rawlings pick on the mound.

On Friday, Rawlings also announced its inaugural Gold Glove Team award, recognizing both Cleveland and the Chicago Cubs for their respective defensive prowess in 2020. The awards were selected using a wide range of metrics gathered as part of the SABR Defensive Index. The Indians led the American league with 27 defensive runs saved, a few better than the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays. Perez (first among catchers in the AL) and Hernandez (second among second baseman in the league) each led the charge in that total with six DRS apiece.

The Cubs, like the Indians, had a pair of Gold Glove winners in first time winner Javier Baez and repeat victor Anthony Rizzo.

The Silver Slugger Awards were handed out on Thursday night, with the Chicago White Sox and the Atlanta Braves taking home the bulk of the trophies. Ramirez was recognized as the winner at third base in the American League as his strong offensive surge late gave him 16 doubles, one triple, 17 homers, and 46 RBI for the season and a .292/.386/.607 triple slash, good for a career-best .993 OPS.

Ramirez previously won the award in 2017 and 2018, making him one of just three Indians players to ever win three Silver Sluggers or more (Albert Belle – 1993-1996; Manny Ramirez – 1995, 1999, 2000).

The Indians have had at least one Silver Slugger winner in each of the last four seasons, with Carlos Santana receiving the honor in 2019. The award has been handed out since the 1980 season.

Photo: Duane Burleson/Getty Images

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