Today's Fun Fact

I'm doubling a fun fact as a Gillette sponsorship post! I'm amazing.

Over the past several days, inspired I think by Ryan Divish on Twitter, I've been looking at the Mariners' total number of wild pitches + passed balls. I was trying to build a post around the information, but I had other more pressing and/or more interesting things on my mind, so I set it on the backburner. But then over at BtB earlier today, Matt Klaassen posted the current 2011 catcher defense ratings, so I thought, what the hell, now's the right time. So here are the numbers, accompanied by little commentary:

Passed balls + wild pitches

(1t) Mets, 21
(1t) Mariners, 21
(3) Cardinals, 20
(4t) Blue Jays, 19
(4t) Tigers, 19
(Average) 13

Well all right. What about caught steals?

(26t) Yankees, 21%
(26t) Dodgers, 21%
(27t) Indians, 18%
(27t) Mariners, 18%
(29) Phillies, 16%
(30) White Sox, 12%
(Average) 28%

The temptation is to blame the Mariners' poor defensive performance behind the plate on a group of guys, but realistically, it's mostly been Miguel Olivo. And it's not like he's been hitting enough to make up for it. Among 42 catchers who've batted at least 50 times, Olivo's OBP and SLG both rank 36th.

This is not a fully-formed post, so I don't have much in the way of grand, sweeping analysis or conclusions. But in the early going, Olivo has been a nightmare in just about every way we can measure, and at this point I don't have any more confidence in him than I had in Rob Johnson a year ago. He should get better, because he's hit for more power and thrown out more runners in the past, but lots of Mariners who should've gotten better never did, and the extent of Olivo's struggles has been really hard to watch.

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