The National League Gold Glove Awards were handed out earlier in the week and there were two Cubs on the list. Derrek Lee and Greg Maddux were the first Cub teammates to win the awards in the same year since 1992 (Mark Grace and Greg Maddux). Greg Maddux won his 15th Gold Glove and only Jim Kaat (16) has more in Major League History at that position. Derrek Lee won his 2nd career Gold Glove, his first with the Cubs (he won the award while with the Marlins in 2003). Greg Maddux won the award 13 years in a row and his fielding has become his trademark. Maddux seems to make ever play on the mound. He had a .958 fielding percentage, only 3 errors in 225 innings with 49 assists. His career fielding percentage is .969. Greg is a student of the game and learns with every pitch he makes. Most pitchers will fall of the mound to one side or the other, but Maddux will square himself and get ready to field the ball.
Derrek Lee saved so many errors for the Cubs infield in 2005. DLee only made 6 errors in 158 games and his fielding percentage was .996. Lee has a habit of turning horrible throws into routine outs. He has a great balance of height and agility that makes him a rare find among today’s athletes.
The other Gold Glove winners in the National League were: Mike Matheny (C), Luis Castillo (2B), Omar Vizquel (SS), Mike Lowell (3B), Andrew Jones (OF), Jim Edmonds (OF) and Bobby Abreu (OF).
Lee and Maddux should continue their excellent defense in 2006 and with the possible addition on Ronny Cedeno at either shortstop or 2nd base the infield defense should improve. The Cubs finished 8th in the National League in fielding in 2005.