There are a stifling number of statistics in baseball these days, and yet no one has come close to quantifying the impact a good defense has on a team. We see it, we know it, but when we debate about building champions and repairing them, we tend to sound like Billy Beane’s sidekick in “Moneyball.”
...“To me when I sit down and watch guys play, I watch hitters against great pitching,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was saying after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Braves helped punctuate the end of this uneven and uneasy season. “When I look at the matchup sheet and I see guys who hit real good against good pitchers, that definitely jumps out at me. And if I see numbers, of course 85 to 100 RBIs out of a corner outfielder, those numbers jump out at me.
...These are plays not measured in any comprehensible statistics, although those scripting for something called “The Fielding Bible” have given it an honest effort. But all baserunners do not have the same speed, guts or baseball IQ. Strength of arm is not just about putouts, but by a lack of attempts to run on that arm. They have tried to measure range, but these are not dynamic or even easily understandable stats.
The good news for you people is that Amaro, whose resume is still without a championship and thus incomplete, seems to get it, too.
I can’t tell you how many runs will be saved in moving Utley to third and having Galvis at second for a season.
But my eyes can tell he’s right for doing it.