Nolan Arenado is one of baseball's best defensive third baseman. In fact, he's won the Gold Glove in each season of his career… until 2023. The Gold Glove finalists were announced on Wednesday and Arenado was not included among the third baseman. Instead, Austin Riley, Ryan McMahon, and Ke'Bryan Hayes were selected as the NL third base finalists, per Rawlings Baseball.

Arenado's run of Gold Glove awards was historical, as he joined Ichiro Suzuki as the only other player to win 10 consecutive Gold Gloves to begin a career, per John Denton of

Nolan Arenado's 2023 season

Cardinals' Nolan Arenado with back turned to viewer. Busch Stadium background

The Cardinals third baseman dealt with an up-and-down 2023 season overall. Arenado played 128 games at the hot corner (15 at DH) in 2023. Arenado posted a respectable .973 fielding percentage, per Baseball Reference. He made just nine errors, which was lower than his 2022 and 2021 marks.

So why didn't Arenado win the 2023 Gold Glove award, or at least draw a finalist selection?

Arenado posted a -11 Rtot (total zone total fielding runs above average). He also had just one run saved above average. For context, Arenado had a 17 Rtot and had 19 runs saved above average in 2022.

To summarize, Nolan Arenado didn't commit many errors in 2023. He still made most of the plays that were hit right at him. However, Arenado's range wasn't quite as sharp compared to previous seasons. Opposing players received more hits/RBIs on balls hit in Arenado's direction than in previous seasons.

Decline of Arenado defensively?

Arenado is still a superb defender. The Cardinals' all-around 2023 performance was questionable. At 32-years old, Arenado may not be the same defender that he once was. That said, it's too early to say that Arenado is declining. It was simply a down season for him from a defensive standpoint.

However, no one will be surprised if Nolan Arenado bounces back and takes home an NL Gold Glove award in 2024. He's going to work hard to return to form and should fare better next season.