Monday, December 11, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Kevin Kiermaier wins second Gold Glove Award

If there was ever a year Kevin Kiermaier felt he should win the Gold Glove Award, it was in 2015, when he exploded on the scene and turned the defensive metrics upside down.

But this past season, after missing 48 games with two broken bones in his left hand, the Rays centerfielder felt his chances rested with his reputation.

That reputation remains golden.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Drew Smyly greets Kevin Kiermaier after Kiermaier caught a fly ball by Eric Hosmer in August

Kiermaier is the top centerfielder in the American League for the second straight year in the eyes of the AL managers and coaches, who comprised 75 percent of the vote. The other 25 percent was based on defensive metrics.

"When I saw that I was the happiest man on this planet," Kiermaier said. "The amount of time that I missed was the only thing holding me back. Other than that I felt by far I'm the best defensive centerfielder in baseball. It's my award to win. That's the way I feel. If it's truly a defensive award, right now, barring something crazy happening I don't feel anyone else should get this above me."

Kiermaier said receiving the award was "an absolute honor," adding that when he heard the news Monday (the award was officially announced Tuesday night) he was on "cloud nine."

"This makes my offseason," he said.

Associated Press

Kevin Kiermaier makes a leaping catch on a flyout to deep center off the bat of Brock Holt of the Red Sox in April

That Kiermaier won the award in a season in which he missed a chunk of time with an injury means the conversation about the top centerfielders in the league now begins with him.

"Yes," Kiermaier said, "and that's something I can't really say I envisioned happened coming up through the minor leagues, but that's the way it is now, and now that I have this reputation it's awesome, because I worked so hard. This award is the best of the best."

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Kevin Kiermaier makes a catch on a fly ball by Adam Jones of the Orioles in April

Kiermaier finished ahead of finalists Kevin Pillar of the Blue Jays and Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox.

Bradley played 156 games. Pillar played in 146. Kiermaier played in only 105, which created a small amount of doubt in his mind that he would win the award.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Kevin Kiermaier hauls in a fly ball by Nolan Reimold of the Orioles in July

But despite missing those 48 games, Kiermaier still led AL centerfielders with 25 defensive runs saved. His 175 putouts were second to Seattle's Leonys Martin, who made 192 in 142 games. After returning from the disabled list, Kiermaier tied Houston's Jake Marisnick for the most outfield assists among AL centerfielders with seven.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Kevin Kiermaier settles under a fly ball hit by Brian Dozier of the Twins in August

Kiermaier said that made winning his second Gold Glove more special than the first time.

The first one was clinched when Kiermaier jumped above the centerfield wall in Baltimore to rob Manny Machado of a home run.

The second one was based on the reputation Kiermaier has worked so hard to craft.

"The managers and coaches around the league still know that I'm the biggest threat against them out there," he said, "and I appreciate them not holding (the missed time) against me."

Comments
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 10:30: In addition to the Cardinals, the Rockies and Mets are considered hot in pursuit of Rays closer Alex Colome. …. Keep hearing the Angels as a potential landing spot for 3B Evan Longoria if the Rays deal him. … Rays manager K...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

The Marlins apparently found a trade to Giancarlo Stanton's liking, reportedly striking a deal early Saturday to send the slugging outfielder to the Yankees.That's bad news for the Rays and the other AL East teams, who will now have to face Stanton &...
Published: 12/09/17
Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Tampa Bay Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed was up early Saturday to meet up with the Bladerunners team in Clearwater at the ALS Association Florida Chapter's annual Ride, Run, Roll to Defeat ALS, supporting Mike Leist, a former history teacher at St...
Published: 12/09/17
Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Rays officials head to Disney for this week’s winter meetings admitting they don’t know what they’re doing. Wait — that’s not exactly right. It’s more that they don’t know what they’re going to do.Having spent months collecting info and discussing op...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17
Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

NEW YORK — In one sense, there was nothing unusual about what Dwight Gooden was doing Tuesday night. In the spirit of the holiday season, he had been summoned to dress like Santa Claus and, as a result, was decked out in a red suit and hat, a curly w...
Published: 12/08/17

Rays sue outgoing concessionaire over "sad history" of failures

The Tampa Bay Rays sued outgoing concessionaire Centerplate in U.S. District Court on Friday, alleging the company harmed the team’s reputation, damaged its facilities and did not pay a fair share of revenue as part of a "sad history of failing to fu...
Published: 12/08/17
Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani decided on his team Friday, and it was something of a surprise as he opted to sign with the Angels.The Mariners and Padres had emerged as the favorites from the seven teams that were chosen, from the full fiel...
Published: 12/08/17