The Detroit Tigers had three players nominated to win a Gold Glove Award, one being Ian Kinsler. And after being snubbed in 2014 by Dustin Pedroia despite leading in defensive runs scored, Kinsler was yet again robbed of the honor, not being named American League Gold Glove champion at second base. Instead, Astros' Jose Altuve won the award. J.D. Martinez also failed to take home an award, finishing second to Kole Calhoun.
By every defensive metric, Altuve should not have won. It shouldn't have even been close. He had a mere 3 DRS compared to Kinsler's MLB-best 19 DRS, and he tallied 4.8 UZR/150 compared to Kinsler's MLB-leading UZR/150 (6.7). Kinsler's DRS total surpassed even that of Marlins' Dee Gordon -- who won the NL Gold Glove at second -- by six points, and since 2011 has led the majors, with 69 DRS. Kinsler also finished with more assists, 425 to Altuve's 417.
In fact, the only place Altuve lead was on offense. And even that wasn't by a long shot. Altuve hit .313/.353/.459 and finished with 15 home runs, with a 120 wRC+, and was worth 4.3 fWAR. By contrast, Kinsler bat .296/.342/.428 with 11 home runs , a 111 wRC+, and a 4.2 fWAR on the year. And that was after his long homerless drought. Kinsler also walked at a higher rate than Altuve (6.4 vs. 4.8 percent) and tallied 73 RBI to Altuve's 66.
There is one consolation in that former Tiger Yoenis Cespedes took home a Gold Glove for his work in left field for two-thirds of the season with Detroit. As he started the season with the Tigers, the award ends a six-year drought as Cespedes is the first Tiger to win a Gold Glove since Placido Polanco took home the honors in 2009. He's the first Tigers outfielder to take home the honors since Gary Pettis -- he repeated it 1988 and '89.
But enough with the numbers. As disheartening as it might be for Kinsler to have been robbed of an award he justly earned, his season didn't start out strong. It was a bit odd that he didn't seem like the same defender when the 2015 season started. He made weird mistakes and had lapses in judgement. He seemed off. Kinsler's slump stretched into the start of June, showing a concerning trend building. And not just on one side of the ball, it was showing on offense. Until the first week when he flipped a switch and turned his entire season around.
It was mildly expected that Martinez wouldn't win a Gold Glove, but that Kinsler didn't win it is a surprise. But that doesn't make his achievements any less impressive, and we'll leave you with three of his best moments in 2015 to quench your frustrations -- or stir them up, depending on your tastes.