MILWAUKEE -- Tampa Bay has been fortunate over the course of the past several years by having a string of stellar-fielding first basemen in Travis Lee, Carlos Pena and Casey Kotchman.
Skipper Joe Maddon was asked to compare Kotchman's glovework to that of Pena's, who won a Gold Glove while with the Rays.
"They're pretty similar," Maddon said. "I mean, Carlos did win the Gold Glove a couple of years ago. I'd say they're equally as good defensively. They both pick it. Regular ground ball, equally well, ball in the dirt, equally well."
Kotchman is not particularly graceful, nor fleet afoot, so how does he stack up against 'Los when it comes to range?
"I haven't seen [range] being a problem for Casey," Maddon said. "In spite of Casey not being fast, he gets to balls. I haven't seen balls get by him that I thought he should have had."
Maddon noted that the only advantage Pena might have when compared to Kotchman was getting to popups past the bag, whether in shallow right field or foul territory.
"Carlos was really good at that," Maddon said. "He was pretty good going down the line."
Kotchman entered Wednesday's action leading Major League first basemen in fielding percentage (1.000) for the fourth consecutive season. He last made an error on Aug. 10, 2010, at Yankee Stadium while with the Mariners, and he has gone 94 games without an error since.
Kotchman has just one error in his past 360 games and he has just nine errors in 5,315 total chances¸ which translates to an astonishing career .998 fielding percentage at first base -- the highest in Major League history among players with at least 500 games played.