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Defense Newsbeat

Friday, August 14, 2015

Column: Defense no longer optional for Pirates - DK on Pittsburgh Sports

I thought the Pirates defense was good because of all the shifting that they do. :/

And hey, does that mean defense is no longer optional?

I felt compelled to ask Hurdle one-on-one afterward: Could he find a way to help this awful defense by essentially playing chess all night?

“I think there are things a manager can do, sure,” he answered. “Things obviously will get clearer when J-Hay and Jordy get back, so that’ll make a difference in that regard. But yeah, I’ll do what I have to do. We’ve got to make plays out there. It’s been 20 games now where we haven’t played good baseball. That’s got to change. And I’ll be part of that.”

It’s no tourniquet, but it beats a Band-Aid.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, pirates

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Twins’ catcher Kurt Suzuki still wary of advanced defensive metrics - TwinCities.com

Mention his improved standing in the controversial area of pitch framing, and Kurt Suzuki all but rolls his eyes.

It’s not just because the Twins’ beleaguered pitching staff has spent the past two weeks reversing the gains of the season’s first four months.

“I still think that thing is false,” said Suzuki, the Twins’ all-star catcher.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2015 at 02:09 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, kurt suzuki, pitch framing, twins

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Buster Posey’s Pitch Framing Makes Him A Potential MVP | FiveThirtyEight

Sounds like WAR needs to be tweaked.

No current version of WAR accounts for framing, a catcher’s art of carefully receiving the pitch in such a way as to cause the umpire to call it a strike. That happens to be Posey’s most important defensive talent. Good framers turn pitches outside of the zone into strikes and keep pitches within the zone from being called incorrectly as balls. This ability, in turn, scares opposing batters into swinging at less-optimal pitches, making the impact of good framing significant. Our best estimates put a good framer as worth up to three or four wins per year.

So far this season, Posey has racked up 11.8 runs in value from his framing, more than an entire win’s worth to add to his total and putting him within a win of Trout. Catchers who consistently earn strikes where umps usually call balls are clearly good at manipulating the umpires, but there’s some mystery as to how good framers like Posey get those calls. I wanted to understand not just what Posey does when a pitch comes in, but also what he does that other catchers don’t do.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 01:03 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catchers, defense, giants, pitch framing, sabermetrics, war

Saturday, July 25, 2015

SABR Defensive Index: July 12, 2015 | SABR

Kevin Kiermaier is a really good outfielder. Has he really been this good?

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2015 at 11:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jones’ Gold Glove ‘D’ again on display | MLB.com

It will be interesting to see (if the data is made available) what the new metrics have to say about Jones’ defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2015 at 06:55 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, orioles

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Is the Red Sox’ defense really that bad? - The Boston Globe

Hanley is the only real issue with the Red Sox defense. He has been brutal in left. Pedroia has been as good as he ever has been. Xander Bogaerts has noticeably improved at shortstop. Sandoval has been O.K. at third. I have no complaints about the rest of the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, red sox, sabermetrics

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A’s might turn to Washington to help shore up defense

Is he coming out of retirement to play shortstop?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2015 at 08:22 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, defense

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Baseball by the numbers: White Sox’ ‘D’ still needs improvement | Chicago

John Grochowski is at least trying, so I will cut him some slack.

Balls a defender doesn’t reach that an average fielder would mean extra hits charged to the pitchers. You can see that in the early numbers for Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana. All have been inconsistent, but all have FIPs — fielding independent pitching — stronger than their ERAs when you filter out defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, white sox

Friday, May 08, 2015

Indians’ historically bad defense at root of Cleveland’s awful start

Are the 2015 Indians the worst-fielding team in modern major league history? There’s a lot of season left before they can claim that dubious distinction, but with the first month in the books, their play in the field has been poor enough to argue that they very well could.

Fielding is, of course, extremely difficult to measure, but it’s a bit simpler to sort out on a team level than it is to figure out the value of one fielder from the man next to him on the field. The blunt instrument here is defensive efficiency, which measures the rate at which a team’s fielders turn balls in play (except for home runs) into outs. Thus far this season, Cleveland is dead last in the majors in defensive efficiency, converting just 64% of its opponents’ balls in play into outs. That number may look bad, but put into historical context, it looks a lot worse.

Comparing that raw figure to the full-season numbers from the last century of baseball, the Indians’ defensive efficiency (.641 to be precise) is the worst since the 1930 Phillies posted a .631 mark, which is the game’s lowest figure since the start of the twentieth century. Within the context of their respective times, however, Cleveland has been even worse. In 1930, 67% of the balls in play in the major leagues were converted into outs; this year, that figure has been 69%. Compared to league average, then, the 1930 Phillies turned balls in play into outs at 93.8% of the league-average rate, but this year’s Indians have done so at just 92.5% of the league-average rate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2015 at 02:44 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, indians

Monday, April 27, 2015

Video: Gordon’s leaping catch in stands | MLB.com

This is an impressive catch.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, defense, royals, white sox

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Cleveland Defense Is A Different Kind Of Problem Now | FanGraphs Baseball

Free Francisco Lindor! (Or don’t the Indians need at least one player who can catch a ball?)

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2015 at 10:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, indians

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dodgers outfield adjusts to the information age - LA Times

Yasiel Puig is taking the game more seriously.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, dodgers, joc pederson, yasiel puig

Monday, March 02, 2015

Royals hope new addition Alex Rios helps outfield defense remain baseball’s best

Aoki Dokey.

In Milwaukee during his first two big-league seasons, Aoki spent most of his time defending batters straight up, without much shading in either direction, Kuntz explained. Aoki preferred to charge in, rather than charge back, and glued himself to the same spot before almost every pitch.

The Royals operate a more fluid defense. Kuntz does not just ask his defenders to adjust from batter to batter. Sometimes he calls for shifts from pitch to pitch. Aoki was an “analytical” player, Kuntz said. He required an explanation for instructions. Kuntz would flash a signal and Aoki would hesitate before moving.

During games, Kuntz only had a brief window in between innings to communicate, because his presence was required to coach first base. Soon after a sign was sent to the outfield, Kuntz would often receive a visit from Aoki’s translator, Kosuke Inaji.

“Nori wants to know why we don’t play everybody straight up,” Inaji would say.

Kuntz had to remind Inaji: “At times, I don’t have time to explain it to him. He just has to get there.”...


During that first workout, when Rios asked for advice, Kuntz suggested he alter his mechanics when chasing drives over his head. Like 90 percent of players, Kuntz said, Rios executed a drop-step as his first movement, which elongated his route to the ball. Kuntz counseled him to swivel his hips instead and straigthen his line.

Two days later, as he swatted fly balls, Kuntz watched how Rios hunted for balls and noticed the difference.

“Just like that, he’s got it,” Kuntz said. “But he’s an athlete. And he’s coachable.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2015 at 09:33 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rios, analytics, defense, nori aoki, royals

 

 

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