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Zobrist's defense setting gold standard for Rays

Zobrist's defense setting gold standard for Rays

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Zobrist's defense setting gold standard for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Second baseman Ben Zobrist has acquired quite a collection of gold-star plays during the current homestand, including a few diving stops and a barehanded play on a ball that ricocheted off Alex Cobb's glove on Saturday.

If Zobrist is able to maintain his .992 fielding percentage, it would break a team record for second basemen.

Not surprisingly, manager Joe Maddon sees Zobrist's defense this season as some of the best of his eight-year career.

Maddon did acknowledge, though, that Zobrist's Gold Glove chances may be hindered by his versatility. Zobrist started 25 games in the outfield and eight at shortstop, but since Wil Myers' June promotion, which solidified right field, Zobrist has been able to settle in at second.

"He probably won't be as seriously considered as [Boston's Dustin] Pedroia or [New York's Robinson] Cano," Maddon said. "It's difficult for him to break through, but what he's done this year ... I don't know how well they've played, but it's hard to imagine they've played it better."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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