The Mariners Can Pick It Up And Throw It

That headline is an obscure reference to something Bill Bavasi said about Ramon Santiago when the Mariners traded Carlos Guillen to get him so many years ago. I don't know why it's stuck in my head all this time, but man was that ever dumb. It's probably stuck in my head all this time because the trade was so dumb.

The Mariners have a blog written by members of the communications department, and it's become a more useful blog than I expected it to be. I don't know what I expected it to be, but I didn't expect it to have posts like this, taking information from the newest Fielding Bible. I quote:

The new Fielding Bible - Volume III by John Dewan and Ben Jedlovec projects the Mariners to be the second best fielding team in Major League Baseball.

That's based on Defensive Runs Saved, which is an alternative to UZR. It's also based on projected depth charts and playing time, so you can see where problems might arise - Franklin Gutierrez is missing at least a month now, for example. This is just a projection, and it should be treated like any other projection. Maybe even more regressed, since we're talking about defense instead of pitching or hitting.

But still, that's more good news than bad news. I know a lot of Mariners fans are getting pretty God damn tired of talking about defense, but defense is important, and it helps to have a good one. Not at the expense of everything else, but in addition to. With Gutierrez, Brendan Ryan, Dustin Ackley, and maybe Chone Figgins and maybe Ichiro, the Mariners have strong defensive elements. Casper Wells should be good when he plays, too, and I don't know quite what to make of Justin Smoak. Let's not address the catchers.

We'll see where the Mariners end up in the defensive leaderboards, but they look all right for now. Interestingly, three of the top five projected team defenses come from the four-team AL West. I don't know what that hey look Michael Saunders hit a home run in the exhibition game! Way to go Michael Saunders!

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