The Gold Glove winners were announced Sunday evening, with both Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson rightfully taking home honors in the National League. Swanson was a shoo-in to win his second straight at shortstop, but Hoerner — who was jobbed last year when he wasn’t nominated at shortstop — had a tougher row to hoe at second base.
Imagine being a fan of a team that didn’t have the best middle-infield defense in baseball.
Then again, all Cubs fans can do is imagine what it’s like to get back into the postseason. The front office put together a roster based on defense up the middle in order to make the most of a pitching staff that was going to give up a lot of contact on the ground. That run-prevention strategy wasn’t flawed in and of itself, but the Cubs needed more consistent offense.
With Swanson and Hoerner providing their elite glovesmanship over the next few years and Pete Crow-Armstrong likely patrolling center from next year forward, the focus turns to adding pop and whiffs. The latter, of course, should come from the pitching staff and not the lineup.
I know the focus is now squarely on the offseason and what Jed Hoyer needs to do to put a winner on the field, but this is a really cool set of accomplishments that should be celebrated as such. It’s okay to find joy in the little things even when the big thing might not bring much happiness.