Doing it the old-fashioned way
Not everyone pays attention to these numbers, of course. While teams such as the Mariners, Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, who improved greatly on defense in 2009, peruse and subscribe to these stats, some teams still just won’t buy them—literally or figuratively.
“I think defensive statistics are the most unpredictable stats there are,” says Charley Kerfeld, a former big league reliever who now serves as a special assistant to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
“And since I’ve been here, we don’t have an in-house stats guy and I kind of feel we never will. We’re not a statistics-driven organization by any means.
“I’m not against statistics. Everybody has their own way of doing things. But the Phillies believe in what our scouts see and what our eyes tell us and what our people tell us.”
...As far as the open market for players is concerned, Dewan says Boston’s recent splurge on expensive leather might jack up the value of defense even more.
“Now you have a big-market team doing it,” Dewan says. “Now it’s going to be adopted, no question. Teams are going to think, ‘If it works for Boston, it should work for us.’
“And that’s great to see.”