In the Yahoo! fantasy game, his three-position eligibility is really useful as a bench player. He hits for average against lefties (.375), so 20% of his games are useful for AVG. Seattle is a sucky club, so it is a rather empty .375 batting average.
I pointed Lopez numbers on another board last week and wondered if there was any bias by whomever is judging the BIP at SAFECO, or any other factor (maybe just a field where balls take very true hops). Because Beltre has hardly looked outstanding at Fenway, which has a field prone to bad hops and plays like there are snakes in the grass, and the numbers agreed (at least as of last week)..
I have not seen many games of his though, so I guess if the numbers match the observations, he must be playing well, and even if MGL is right and his numbers have little meaning, observation counts. Except when it doesn’t and you get told in a very sarcastic fashion to sell your ability to a MLB team because how dare you question the numbers based on your observation..
One of the things to be wary of in changing players positions is the impact on their hitting. While not conclusive by any means, Figgins and Lopez have certainly underperformed with the bat.
When Beltre played in Seattle, he was just outstanding to watch. I haven’t watched him in Boston, but while he was playing in Seattle, he looked like an elite third baseman, so I doubt it’s any bias in the scoring. Jose Lopez has similarly looked just spectacular this year. Based on me watching the games, the numbers backed up what I was seeing in both player’s cases.
This. Lopez is +5.1 on the road and +4.2 at home this year. Beltre is +1.8 at home and +0.3 on the road. MGL will insist that this does NOT mean that Lopez has played better defense on the road, and Beltre at home, but the numbers so far do not show what you’d expect if the parks were responsible for messing with the UZR numbers.
“This.” was about the home/road UZR thread, then I noted the part about Colin’s comment. That’s a striking difference in the OF, but the facts here remain: Lopez has actually been scored as a stronger defender on the road so far, and Beltre at home.
Beltre’s signature fielding play in his time with the Mariners was taking a ball near the line, either going hard to his right to glove it or charging in on the grass to barehand it; and then, while falling towards the 3rd-base dugout, throw a bullet across his body hard and accurate to gun the batter down at 1st. Sometimes when he threw his body was already horizontal. He only had a few of those each season, but they were memorable and they built his reputation. I have only seen a couple of Red Sox games so far this year (and that’s too many) so I really don’t know, but perhaps he just hasn’t yet had the opportunity.
And Lopez really has been a revelation at 3rd this season. His arm is strong and he’s only airmailed one throw to 1st (as far as I know); meanwhile, his quickness at getting to balls and handling them in a sure-fingered way is really unexpected for anyone who watched his decidedly mediocre defense at 2nd. I almost wonder if he just had gotten bored at 2B and was spacing out, and the novelty and fear of a new position is making him focus. (Which is worrisome if he gets truly comfortable at 3rd in the future)