Update [2008-3-4 13:15:51 by Matthew]:: Other teams and entire MLB have been added below in the comments.
Thanks to Derek for the inspiration.
Derek's chart was thought provoking, but it didn't do much to answer an immediate question it raised in me; so how has the Mariner OF defense changed over time? To answer that, we'd need batted ball data for all Mariner pitchers in which to compare the OF putouts against.
To that end, thank you Retrosheet. I wrote up a quick perl script to parse through the event files and pulled the following information for years 2003-7^.
The conclusions are pretty evident.
- The 2007 staff allowed many more line drives, about 50 more than normal.
- Bavasi's strategy to build a groundball heavy staff failed, FB+LD did not change from 2006 to 2007.
- Starting in 2006 and continuing last year, the Mariners' OF was markedly worse at turning flyballs into outs, about 50 plays per year.
Hattip to Nadingo for reminding me about 2004. Now, correlation does not imply causation, but...
2003: Ibanez makes 0 starts in the OF (for SEA).
2004: Ibanez makes 108 starts in the OF.
2005: Ibanez makes 57 starts in the OF.
2006: Ibanez makes 158 starts in the OF.
2007: Ibanez makes 131 starts in the OF.
Raul 4 DH
For John. Primary starters:
2003: Winn, Cameron, Ichiro
2004: Ibanez, Winn, Ichiro
2005: Winn (Ibby after trade), Reed, Ichiro
2006: Ibanez, (Reed+Willie+Doyle), Ichiro
2007: Ibanez, Ichiro, Guillen