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Defense Newsbeat

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pitch-framing in olden times | FOX Sports

We have data for that now.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2015 at 09:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, defense, pitch framing

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rankings baseball’s top 10 defenses for 2015. | SportsonEarth.com : Anthony Castrovince Article

I liked the Semien comment. A lot of people don’t think Semien has the chops to handle shortstop on a regular basis. When you look at it from this perspective, though, it doesn’t seem to be a stretch to have him stay there.

Man, so many changes to this roster in such a short time. But attention to detail on defense is a constant. Brett Lawrie, if healthy (that’s always the “if” with Lawrie), is a major defensive asset at the hot corner. Ben Zobrist can handle seemingly every position on the field with aplomb, which is why he’s so valuable. Marcus Semien will be an upgrade over Jed Lowrie at short. Between Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp and whoever plays left field—Sam Fuld or Craig Gentry - the outfield is well-situated from a defensive standpoint.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, predictions

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Walking Through Ben Revere’s 19 Assists | FanGraphs Baseball

Another interesting article from Jeff Sullivan.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2015 at 08:58 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: ben revere, defense

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Time for hitters to counter defensive shifts | MLB.com

The game will adjust without banning the shift.

Take it from Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who sees the data work against him at the plate and for him behind it.
“I think [the shift] is a tough thing to blame for the decline in offense,” he said in a text. “ERAs are down [0.12 points between 2013 and ‘14 and 0.72 points over the past decade], so that means pitching is better. Why is pitching better? The wealth of information we have when calling games is a very large amount. If they wanted to increase offense, then they should take away the information we get. That won’t happen, because teams use this same information in trades, free-agent signings, etc. Honestly, I can think of times when the shift works for us and times when we were burned by them. So I don’t think they are the issue.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 07:08 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Jung-Ho Kang Doesn’t Need to be a Brilliant Fielder | FanGraphs Baseball

A really good look at what the Pirates are doing on defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 06:51 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, jung-ho kang, pirates, sabermetrics, shifts

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Twins May Have Weakened a Weakness | FanGraphs Baseball

Do the Twins really need defense?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics, twins

 

 

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