|Josh Lindblom of the Doosan Bears throws a pitch against the SK Wyverns in Game 1 of the Korea Series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, in November last year. /Yonhap|
The reigning MVP in South Korean baseball will be chasing another major season-end trophy for his mantelpiece.
Doosan Bears' right-hander Josh Lindblom has been nominated for the Golden Glove in the pitcher category, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Monday.
Lindblom, the 32-year-old American ace, captured the regular season MVP award in a landslide last week, becoming the fifth foreign player to take the top individual award in the KBO.
Lindblom led the league with 20 wins, 189 strikeouts and 194 2/3 innings pitched. He finished second in ERA with 2.50, just missing out on winning the pitching Triple Crown. He will go for his second straight Golden Glove. No foreign pitcher has won more than one Golden Glove, let alone two in a row.
Yang Hyeon-jong of the Kia Tigers, the ERA champion who finished third in MVP voting, is also up for the Golden Glove.
Voting by baseball writers, broadcasters and analysts will run from 10 a.m. Monday to 5 p.m. Friday, and the winners will be announced during the awards ceremony in Seoul at 5:15 p.m. next Monday.
Despite the name's connotation, the Golden Gloves have been often won by players who put up the best offensive and pitching numbers, instead of the best defensive players. In addition to the nine fielding positions, the KBO also hands out Golden Gloves to designated hitters. League leaders in major offensive and pitching categories all earned automatic nominations.
In 2017, the KBO added defensive innings played to the qualifying criteria, which expanded the pool of nominees and brought defensive contributions into consideration.
Position players must have either led the league in at least one offensive category or have appeared in their fielding position for at least 720 innings. Pitchers must have met the minimum number of innings to qualify for the ERA title (144 innings) or, in case of relief pitchers, must have recorded at least 10 wins, 30 saves or 30 holds.
For the DH category, all players who appeared as DH in at least two-thirds of the minimum at-bats to qualify for the batting title (297 at-bats) were automatically nominated.
NC Dinos' catcher Yang Eui-ji, the MVP runner-up and the reigning batting champion, will chase his second straight Golden Glove and his fifth in the past six seasons.
At first base, Kiwoom Heroes' slugger Park Byung-ho, the regular season home run king, is poised to nab his fifth Golden Glove and his second straight.
The SK Wyverns have the most nominees with 13, while the KT Wiz are the only club with a candidate in every position. (Yonhap)