Four Cardinals were Rawlings Gold Glove finalists on the National League side of the awards for 2022. The hopefuls were first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman Tommy Edman and utility player Brendan Donovan. And it should be noted that Edman was among the finalists at two positions, second base and utility. That’s pretty special.

You’re probably aware of the results by now, but here’s a recap: Arenado won his 10th consecutive Gold Glove award at third base, making him 10 for 10 for his career. Amazing. Donovan was a groundbreaker of sorts, winning the first-ever utility-man Gold Glove, which was a new addition to the fielding categories in 2022. And he earned this prestigious recognition in his rookie season.

Edman and Goldschmidt came up short in the voting. There are no voting-results complaints from me on Goldschmidt, but it was disappointing to see Edman get lost in the gap between second base and shortstop.


1. Through no fault of his own, Edman canceled himself out. The voting is done by the managers and coaches, and I can only imagine what they were thinking: Edman is fantastic, but should I vote for him at second base, even though he played slightly more innings at shortstop? Is he really a “utility” guy just because he split time between two positions, second and shortstop? Doesn’t a “utility” dude have to play several positions and provide maximum flexibility for his manager? That extra versatility is an asset.

I can understand the confusion. And I may be giving the voters too much credit; historically speaking, I don’t think many managers and coaches put in a lot of homework before making their decisions.

Edman canceled himself out because he was great at second base, and really good at shortstop. And he most likely split the votes that went to him, with a percentage of voters choosing him at second base, and another percentage of selectors casting ballots for him at the utility spot.

Edman wasn’t on the ballot as a shortstop. And because he played 622 innings at shortstop, it limited him to 614.2 innings at second base. That hurt him, because 23 major-league players logged more innings than Edman at 2B. If he’s only 24th for most innings at the position, how can he win the Gold Glove there? Edman gave the Cardinals considerable value with his superb defensive ability at two positions.

But instead of being rewarded for that value, he was indirectly penalized for it. Playing so many innings at shortstop damaged his case to win the gold at second base. And as I mentioned, a two-position player isn’t as appealing in the “utility” category as a guy who played four, five or even six positions. Had Edman played second base all season, I have no doubt that he would have won the Gold Glove there.

The award went to Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers, who was credited with 22 runs saved defensively, most in the NL by a second baseman. Edman saved 12 runs defensively at 2B, which ranked second to Rodgers. But Rodgers played 553.2 more innings than Edman at second base, and that largely explains the gap in defensive runs saved. Edman was 6th in the NL at shortstop with six defensive runs saved – but that’s misleading because he ranked 29th in the majors for most innings there.

Edman finished 5th overall in the NL – all positions – with his 18 defensive runs saved. I’m sorry but if you are a top-five defender in your league, I think you should win a Gold Glove.

In Outs Above Average Edman ranked third overall in the majors and second in the NL with 19 OAA. And at second base, Edman’s seven OAA ranked a close No. 2 in the NL to the Mets’ Jeff McNeil, who had eight OAA … but McNeill played 230 more innings than Edman at 2B. Moreover, Edman led all NL second basemen in runs prevented.

2. Name change? Arenado should go by Golden Arenado from now on. Arenado wins again! This was the least surprising result in the 2022 voting in either league. Brooks Robinson has the all-time lead at third base with 16 Gold Gloves, and Arenado and Mike Schmidt are tied for second with 10.

Arenado, 31, is tied with retired Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for the longest Gold Glove streak by a player (10 seasons) at any position at the beginning of a career. And the only infielders that had longer Gold Glove winning streaks than Arenado were Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (16), Ozzie Smith (13), and Keith Hernandez (11.)

Arenado’s sustained brilliance is especially notable considering that a record 14 players won their first Gold Gloves this season – including all but one of the winners in the American League. (That note from ESPN.)

I wanted to place Arenado’s third-base excellence in the proper perspective in another way. He ended the season with 18.8 defensive Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which ranks 7th all-time at the position. The six third basemen ahead of him on the career dWAR rankings played more innings than Arenado, who has five more seasons remaining on his contract. He’ll continue to move up on the charts.

Here’s a list of the top 10 all-time leaders at dWAR at third base, and I’ve included their career games played at the position:

Brooks Robinson: 39.1 dWAR, 2,896 games.
Adrian Beltre: 27.0 dWAR, 2,933 games.
Buddy Bell: 23.8 dWAR, 2,405 games.
Clete Boyer: 21.7 dWAR, 1.725 games.
Craig Nettles: 21.4 dWAR, 2,700 games
Scott Rolen: 21.2 dWAR, 2,038 games.
Nolan Arenado: 18.8 dWAR, 1,384 games.
Mike Schmidt: 18.4 dWAR, 2,404 games
Robin Ventura: 17.9 dWAR, 2,079 games.
Jimmy Collins: 16.8 dWAR, 1,725 games.

Where will Arenado be by the time he reaches 2,000 games played? I don’t think Arenado will catch Brooks on this dWAR leaderboard, but it doesn’t matter. Brooksie has said tArenado is the best third basemen in major-league history. Coming from Brooks Robinson, that’s the ultimate endorsement.

3. Donovan was an easy choice for the first utility-player Gold Glove. He epitomized what the award should be about with an impressive display of all-purpose defense at a wide range of locations. Donovan had to put in an enormous amount of work to be so solid and effective at six different positions. Donovan’s indefatigable effort on defense made his performance on offense even more admirable; he led NL rookies with a .394 onbase percentage and ranked second among NL rookies in total WAR, OPS, and OPS – finishing 26 percent above league average offensively.

Donovan played 264.1 innings at second base, 189 innings at third base, 144 innings in left field, 144 innings in right field, 58 innings at first base, and 56 innings at shortstop. What, he didn’t get behind the plate and catch? What a slacker! Donovan was an above-average defender at third base, left field and right field, and only below average (barely) at one position, shortstop. Overall he Donovan was only one of 38 MLB players to have at least 10 defensive runs saved in 2022.

4. Goldschmidt had little chance to win the Gold at first base. Two reasons: (A) Diamondbacks 1B Christian Walker had a truly outstanding season; and (B) Goldschmidt was rated below-average in Outs Above Average and Runs Prevented. I’m befuddled by the metrics that ranked Goldy so poorly, though he was credited with two defensive runs saved by Fielding Bible. Even that was too low, as anyone that watched him play every day could tell you. The defensive metrics are haywire and unreliable when it comes to evaluating first basemen; through history we’ve seen some peculiar conclusions. I think Goldschmidt is the latest example of that.

That said … Christian Walker was a deserving winner. No doubt about it. He ranked first among first basemen in both leagues with 17 defensive runs saved, 14 Outs Above Average, 11 runs prevented and success rate added.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated sports-talk show on 590-AM The Fan, KFNS. It airs Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app which is available in your preferred app store.

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All stats used here were sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, Stathead, Bill James Online, Fielding Bible, Baseball Savant, Brooks Baseball Net and Spotrac.


Bernie Miklasz
Bernie Miklasz

For the last 35 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.