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Defense Watch

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Just this morning MGL went public with his team UZR data for the season to date. It correlates pretty well with THT's +/-, but it isn't a perfect match:

Rzruzr_medium

The correlation coefficient (r) is 0.641, although it jumps up to 0.794 if you take out the one big outlier (Kansas City is -26 plays by +/- and +26 runs by UZR for some reason). Anyway, the most important bit of information here:

Best Team Defense: Toronto, +35 runs (+23 plays by RZR)
Worst Team Defense: Texas, -38 runs (-28 plays by RZR)
Second-Worst Team Defense: Seattle, -32 runs (-31 plays by RZR)

So we have a second advanced metric now telling us that our defense has been terrible. Texas comes out looking worse mainly because of what UZR thinks has been horrible play in the field by Ramon Vazquez and Josh Hamilton, but being out of the basement is little solace. We're still shooting ourselves in the foot with an inability to cover much ground. If your position players can't hit, they sure as hell better be able to field. Because if they can't field, then you fire your hitting coach, I guess. Accountability. Breathe it in.

For what it's worth, based on an extremely limited sample size, Yuniesky Betancourt has been the worst defensive shortstop in baseball so far by each of these metrics. Which only continues the theme. It's time to explore the trade market and see if anyone's willing to pay out the nose before his reputation catches up with his actual ability. Better too soon than too late. Not that I'm advocating his unceremonious shipping away, but if there's still a GM or three out there who thinks he's a star in the making, why not find out what they'll put on the table?

Richie Sexson blows.