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Chicago Cubs: Several Cubs in the middle of Gold Glove mix

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Oct 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) fields a ground ball in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) fields a ground ball in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
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A  big part of the Chicago Cubs success this season has been their defense. It comes as no surprise then that four Chicago Cubs have been nominated for Gold Glove awards, including three seeking their first ever Gold Glove.

The Chicago Cubs defense has been a stellar all season long. From diving catches in the outfield to standing on tarps to catch foul balls, the Cubs have been diving, jumping and laying out all over the diamond. The Chicago Cubs have four nominees for a Gold Glove this year. None of them really come as a surprise. Outfielder Jason Heyward has once again been nominated for a Gold Glove.

Heyward, pitcher Jake Arrieta, shortstop Addison Russell and first basemen Anthony Rizzo all have been nominated for a Gold Glove Award, according to Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune. All four Cubs are very deserving of the award. After all, Heyward was brought in for his defense and is a big part of why the Cubs continued to keep him in the lineup despite his offensive struggles. All of those Cubs are seeking their first Gold Glove except for Heyward. Heyward is seeking is fourth Gold Glove.

 Who Got Stiffed?

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The most obvious player is Cubs utility man Javier Baez. This is simple, though. Baez played three different positions with regularity this season and simply didn’t have enough games played at any position to qualify for a Gold Glove. There is no doubt that he will win a Gold Glove once he has a regular position.

Ben Zobrist is another name that comes to mind. Zobrist has actually never won a Gold Glove award, despite have a career .983 fielding percentage. Zobrist plays multiple positions, like Baez, which makes it harder for him to win the award.

You can also make the case for OF Dexter Fowler, who committed just four errors this year. The competition is tough with Billy Hamilton, Odubel Herrera and Ender Inciarte getting the nods. Fowler missing a month with an injury didn’t help his case either.

Who Wins?

From a Cubs standpoint, I think it’s obvious that Jason Heyward will win his fourth Gold Glove and his third straight. He might not be the best defensive outfielder in the game. His strong arm and career 11.1 Defensive WAR makes him an easy candidate to win it again. He goes up against Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Nick Markakis of the Braves.

The rest of the Cubs have a fair shot at winning as well. Rizzo stands on tarps and walls to catch potential foul balls so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him win it. He had a .996 fielding percentage at first base this year and goes up against Paul Goldschmidt and Will Myers.

Russell has made great diving stops all year, but his arm has been the most problematic. That could end up costing him the Gold Glove award. He goes up against Brandon Crawford and Freddy Galvis. At 22, his defense is only going to get better and there’s no doubt he will win a Gold Glove at some point in his career.

Arrieta is a bit of a surprise and goes up against Adam Wainright and Zach Greinke. Arrieta committed three errors this season and has done a good job fielding his position.

The highlight of the Gold Glove nominees is Yadier Molina, who is going for his ninth consecutive Gold Glove award.

The Cubs were eighth in the National League in errors with 101 so overall they did a solid job. The winners will be announced on November 8th at 7pm on ESPN.

Next: Arrieta leads Cubs; Bryant honored

This is only the beginning of a bunch of hardware the Cubs could be bringing home. Kris Bryant has already won the Hank Aaron Award and there is still the Cy Young, Silver Slugger, and MVP awards to give away.

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