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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Daugherty: Best defense against collapse without Joey Votto is, well, defense

“Something Called Range Factor”...I think they once shared a bill with The Escape Hatched Dongs at Knups. (wrings out trusty notebook)

The Reds will weather Votto’s absence as long as they keep pitching and catching. There’s no reason to believe they won’t.

It’s not just that the Reds have made just 46 errors, the fewest in the National League. That speaks to consistency, but not brilliance. The Reds also get to more balls than most teams. Brandon Phillips is brilliant. Chris Heisey in center field has been occasionally brilliant. Jay Bruce has had a few issues recently, but historically he has been Gold Glove quality, with a very good arm.

Votto’s brilliance is in making the difficult seem routine. Zack Cozart has committed the second-fewest errors among NL shortstops, and ranks seventh in something called Range Factor, which means he’s slightly better than average at getting to balls hit his direction. When Scott Rolen is at third base, all throws are true.

And so on.

Defense isn’t even an underrated skill now. It’s forgotten. We spend considerable time analyzing lineups and debating the legitimacy of the so-called Quality Start. We don’t talk a lot about defense. It’s not as sexy, it’s subtle, it’s harder to quantify. Judging good defenders is best accomplished by watching a team every game. You see the jumps the outfielders get, the throws they make. You note the smoothness of a Votto throw on a force play to second base, and how Rolen’s throws are almost always perfect.

Repoz Posted: July 21, 2012 at 09:11 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4188626)
Two words: Alfonso Soriano. Well, two more: is available.
   2. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: July 21, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4188720)
Paul Daugherty is pretty bad. I don't know much about other teams' local coverage, but I would think the Reds would be near the bottom in the category.
   3. Endless Trash Posted: July 21, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4188754)
We spend considerable time analyzing lineups and debating the legitimacy of the so-called Quality Start. We don’t talk a lot about defense.


Who is "we?"
   4. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: July 21, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4188859)
Who is "we?"


Maybe he has a not-very-bright mouse in his pocket.

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