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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Defense Newsbeat

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sullivan: Quick Study: The Effect of Defense on a Low-Strikeout Staff

One area I have not seen quantified is the effect a good defense (such as that possessed by the Royals) might have when combined with a low-strikeout pitching staff. Would a good defensive team’s pitchers and defense record more outs and post lower ERAs than FIPs? Probably some, but also how much of difference would it actually make? I decided to perform a quick study to see if there was anything to my little theory.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 23, 2015 at 01:36 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, fip, royals

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The outfielders who threw 100 mph (FanGraphs)

Occasionally, an outfielder will get a running head start, whether on a single or a sac fly, and throw a bullet to home plate, just like a pitcher, and it elicits a response. We can see with our eyes that the ball was thrown exceptionally hard, but we don’t see it on the radar gun, so these throws go unrecognized. You’ll hear about “pitchers who can throw 100,” but you never hear outfielders regarded in the same light. The pitchers who can throw 100 have their own exclusive, little clubs. Some can do it, but most just can’t. Outfielders are the same way, just without the club.

This season, there were 24 pitchers who threw a pitch that registered in the triple digits. There were 15 outfielders.


Davo Posted: November 11, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron hicks, carlos gomez, defense, jake marisnick, kevin kiermaier

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rawlings, Minors announce Gold Glovers | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award would be a popular goal for many young players when we decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 29, 2015 at 07:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, minor leagues

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Who are the 2015 Fielding Bible Award / Gold Glove Contenders? (Part I) | Articles | Bill James Online

Previewing BIS’s 2015 Fielding Bible Award winners.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 26, 2015 at 09:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Catcher Is Watching You | FanGraphs Baseball

Buster Posey must have grown up watching Blues Clues.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catching, defense, giants, melvin upton, jr.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Team UZR (To Shift or Not to Shift) | MGL on Baseball

Interesting stuff.The BIS defensive stuff cannot compare to defensive analysis generated by the FIELDf/x (or whatever they are calling it) stuff. I wish this data was more readily available to public analysts.

I think the most important thing to take away from this discussion is that there can be a fairly large difference between team infield UZR which uses every GB, and the total of the individual UZR’s which uses only those plays in which no shift was relevant to the outcome of the play. As well, the more shifts employed by a team, the less we should trust that the total of the individual performances are representative of the entire team’s defense on the infield. I am also going to see if Fangraphs can start publishing team UZR for infielders and for outfielders, although in the outfield, the numbers should be similar if not the same.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics

Digiovanna: Angels Manager Mike Scioscia disagrees that Mike Trout is average defender

Matt Harvey, Scott Boras, and Dr. James Andrews were unavailable for comment.

But some advanced defensive metrics rate Trout as average, in part because he doesn’t always get the best jumps or run the most efficient routes, an assertion that baffles and bothers Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.

“We have overhead [cameras] that read jumps, and he’s off incredibly quick,” Scioscia said. “From a scouting perspective, there’s no question this guy is one of the best center fielders in our game. The ground he covers is unbelievable.”

  I will take eight more “average fielder’s” like Trout in a starting line up any day of the week. Screw the metrics, we get too carried away with numbers. What numbers can’t calculate is the hustle and heart of a player. Trout will run through or go over a wall to make a…

According to Fangraphs, Trout entered Sunday with 3.0 defensive runs saved, 10th among 22 qualifying major league center fielders. His ultimate zone rating of -1.2 and overall defensive rating of 0.7 ranked 13th.

UZR quantifies how many runs a player saved or gave up through his fielding prowess. The overall rating measures a player’s defensive value relative to league average.

“The whole notion of using technology to quantify what we see is really good … but I want to know what the technology is, and if it’s accurate, what’s going on?” said Scioscia, who is skeptical of newer defensive statistics.

“I can show you our overhead of that catch [Saturday] night. The ball is just coming out of his swing, and you see Mike cross over [for his first step]. You can’t tell me he gets bad jumps.”

JE (Jason) Posted: September 07, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: advanced metrics, defense, mike scioscia, mike trout, sabermetrics

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Kevin Kiermaier channeled his inner Mike Trout to scale Camden Yards wall and steal a home run |

I say Kiermaier’s catch was just a little better.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2015 at 12:56 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, kevin kiermaier, mike trout

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 -

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 |

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



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