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Alex Verdugo is Red Sox lone Gold Glove finalist after stellar year in right field

BOSTON, MA - 8/6/2023 Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox runs onto the field before a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. 07redsoxVincent Alban For The Boston Globe

Alex Verdugo was named an American League Gold Glove finalist in right field Wednesday afternoon, alongside the Astros’ Kyle Tucker and the Rangers’ Adolis García.

Verdugo mostly split time between the outfield corners in his first three years with the Red Sox, but with the arrival of the defensively inferior Masataka Yoshida, shifted exclusively this season to Fenway’s expansive right field, a position that is known to give defenders fits.

He was an impact player there. Verdugo was tied for first among AL right fielders in defensive runs saved (nine) and assists (12), playing in 140 games.

Verdugo had a down year offensively, but he was one of the only bright spots defensively on a team that was at the bottom of the league in the category. (Verdugo is the lone Sox Gold Glove finalist.)

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“I don’t know my numbers. I just know that our outfield coach [Kyle Hudson], he always says I’m his best right fielder,” said Verdugo at the end of the season. “If I can put myself in the running and hopefully get that Gold Glove, it would be great. That’s something that I take a lot of pride in. I took a lot of pride in it this year. Defense is very important to me.”

Winners will be announced on Nov. 5. No Red Sox has earned a Gold Glove since Mookie Betts won his fourth straight in right field in 2019.

. . .

Nolan Arenado’s streak of consecutive Gold Gloves has ended at 10. The St. Louis Cardinals third baseman was not among the three finalists announced at the position, bettered by Pittsburgh’s Ke’Bryan Hayes, Colorado’s Ryan McMahon, and Atlanta’s Austin Riley.

Winners will be announced Nov. 5.

Arenado won in each of his first 10 seasons, matching the high set by Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from 2001-10.

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Players who won last year and are among the 2023 finalists are Cleveland second baseman Andrés Giménez and left fielder Steven Kwan, Houston right fielder Kyle Tucker, Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto, Arizona first baseman Christian Walker, Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson and left fielder Ian Happ, and Los Angeles right fielder Mookie Betts, who played 107 games in right, 70 at second, and 16 at shortstop.

Betts, who has won six straight Gold Gloves, also is a finalist at the utility role, a category added last year.

Voting is conducted among managers and up to six coaches from each team, and since 2013 is factored with a Society for American Baseball Research defensive index. The index comprises about 25 percent of the total.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him @byJulianMack.