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  1. How much improvement do you think the Orioles would actually see by replacing Luke Scott with Pie? Scott’s career UZR/150 are 9.9 in LF and 9.0 in RF, so Pie would have to be pretty tremendous to make a significant improvement.

    Being an Astros fan, I think its pretty funny that one of the front office’s big complaints with Luke Scott was his supposedly poor outfield defense. Doh!

    Comment by mymrbig — January 22, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  2. “don’t be surprised if even more teams start copying the Three CF model.”

    I’m surprised that more teams didn’t start copying it after 2001, when the M’s won 116 games with essentially the same philosophy (Ichiro, Cameron, Winn).

    Comment by Benne — January 22, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  3. Benne, I don’t think WInn was with the M’s in 2001, but the 2-centerfielder thing was still good.

    Comment by Isaac A — January 22, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  4. Winn certainly was with the M’s then. They also had plenty of other defensive stalwarts including Bret Boone, John Olerud, and David Bell. Really, the only person who wasn’t a very good defender on that team was Carlos Guillen, who was likely just merely average. Talk about a fantastic defensive squad!

    Comment by Bodhizefa — January 22, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  5. Oops, no he wasn’t. You’re right. Gay Buhner (what my friends used to call Mr. Buhner when we were kids, lol) was there as was Al Martin and Mark McLemore. Man, I miss McLemore!

    Comment by Bodhizefa — January 22, 2009 @ 7:03 pm

  6. The problem with that idea for the Mariners is that Endy is a hopelessly inadequate hitter for a corner OF and Gutierrez doesn’t project particularly well himself. I know defense is important and whatnot, but that outfield seems like it will struggle to be average overall.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — January 22, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  7. Buhner was hurt almost the entire year. Martin, McLemore and Stan Javier split most of the time in left.

    The Ichiro-Cameron-Win outfield of 2003 was pretty incredible though. When Ryan Franklin and Joel Pineiro post ERAs under 4, you’re doing something right. I too am surprised that more teams didn’t follow that model earlier (and even more baffled that the M’s got away from it).

    Comment by Eric Walkingshaw — January 22, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

  8. Endy posted a WAR of .9 last year in ~300 PA, and a WAR of .7 in 165 PA in 2007. In a full season it’s safe to assume he’s pretty close to average. Gutz posted a 1.9 WAR in 440 PA last year, and a 2.0 WAR in 301 PA in 2007, mostly out of right field. Ichiro has posted WARs of 3.3, 4.9, and 4.4 in 2008/2007/2006, mostly in CF (splitting time between RF/CF last year). Given that average is 2 WAR, it appears that if these 3 continue to perform as they have in the past (Gutz’s bat likely isn’t done developing) they should be something 1-4 wins above an average outfield, with Chavez picking up 1.5-2.5 WAR, Gutz getting 1.5-3.0, and Ichiro getting 3.0-5.0. They’d have to flounder majorly to be a significantly below average outfield.

    Comment by Terminator X — January 22, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

  9. “Endy is a hopelessly inadequate hitter for a corner OF ”

    What does this mean exactly? And, what if I say “Ibanez is a hopelessly inadequate fielder for a corner OF”?

    Both statements are invalid. The question is how many runs does his bat produced compared to what an average player you can put out there, and how many runs does his glove save. If he’s -20 and +25, respectively, or +15 and -10, respectively, it’s the same thing. (I’m not saying he’s +5, but simply saying that both give you the same result.)

    If you want to argue that it’s not, then go ahead.

    Comment by tangotiger — January 22, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

  10. Is Matt Joyce or Gross going to be the starter in RF for the D-Rays?

    Comment by devil_fingers — January 23, 2009 @ 12:09 am

  11. platoon?

    Comment by Matt H. — January 23, 2009 @ 12:19 am

  12. Yep, Winn was there. That defense was a beauty to behold.

    Comment by Benne — January 23, 2009 @ 2:09 am

  13. Well, disregard my previous comment, then. Could’ve sworn we had Winn in ’01. Regardless, when Paul Abbott manages to get 18 wins, you must be doing something right on defense.

    Comment by Benne — January 23, 2009 @ 2:10 am

  14. Probably a platoon of some type, with Fernando Perez as the potential darkhorse/4th outfielder.

    Comment by Benne — January 23, 2009 @ 2:13 am

  15. I’d be perfectly fine with watching Endy in LF, considering that we had to endure Raul commit multiple .gif worthy gaffes in LF.

    Comment by Benne — January 23, 2009 @ 2:23 am

  16. Lou Piniella memorably coached the 2001 M’s, and Winn was what the Rays paid the M’s to get him as their coach in the winter of 2002 (technically, Winn was traded for Antonio Perez because you can’t trade a player for a manager, but considering Winn was TB’s only all-star and Perez was an AAAA guy who barely got a cup of coffee, we all know what was really going on. Though that may not even be the most interesting trade he was involved in, considering he was a throw-in in the Milton Bradley-for-Andre Ethier trade between the A’s and the Dodgers).

    Comment by joser — January 23, 2009 @ 3:43 am

  17. The Jays were employing a 3 CF OF for years and nobody noticed with Johnson, Wells and Rios…and a two CF OF when Wells wasn’t hurt in 2008 (for one sad game in 2008, Brad Wilkerson played CF. Ick.) So it doesn’t always work out THAT well (although the Jays OF has hardly been the problem the past few years).

    I don’t particularly think the 3 CF OF is that new, really and if the choice is between a 3 CF OF and Bell, Moseby and Barfield (as prototypical a LF, CF and RF as the Jays have ever had in the OF; which is why I list them) – I don’t think there is much of one. Give me the hitter in LF, the speedster solid defender in CF and the guy with a gun for an arm in RF. Now if only that trio could put up OBPs north of .320… but I digress.

    Comment by Christopher Taylor — January 23, 2009 @ 4:30 am

  18. Antonio Perez was ranked 16th overall by Baseball America in 2001 and 52nd in 2002. Lou Pinella was a part of it but Perez was not a throw in

    Comment by Trenchtown — January 23, 2009 @ 5:53 am

  19. The Rays will go with an all Gabe – platoon in RF starting the season! Kapler against lefties and Gross against righties! During the season Matt Joyce and Fernando Perez are options, maybe even to take over the RF-job without a platoon!

    Comment by BurGi — January 23, 2009 @ 6:10 am

  20. No, Winn was recieved after the 2002 season in a trade for Piniella and Antonio Perez. In 2001 left field was split between Stan Javier (very good) and Al Martin (averageish?).

    Comment by jackb — January 23, 2009 @ 7:33 am

  21. Don’t forget about the Giants with Lewis/Rowand/Winn. If Rowand plays an average to above-average CF next year, like he’s done every year except 2008, they could be looking at a +40 outfield. Worst case they should at least be at +20-25 or so.

    Comment by B — January 23, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  22. The Cardinals could start an outfield of Ludwick, Rasmus and Ankiel Left to Right which would be very good not only at tracking down fly balls but would have three very good arms as well.

    Comment by Nick — January 23, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  23. The Jays have averaged about 9 games over .500 over the last 3 years without any offense to speak of in a very tough division. Obviously you need a bit more offense than they have to compete for the crown in the AL East (where the Sox and Rays also have excellent defenses), but their defense has done them very well and kept them a competitive team.

    Comment by Kincaid — January 23, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  24. When you start with an outfield with no legitimate centerfielders and add one centerfielder to the mix, that really only leaves you with one centerfielder.

    Comment by Kincaid — January 23, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  25. I am almost positive that I posted a comment here and that it went through a few days ago. But it hasn’t appeared yet. Is there a reason for that?

    Comment by Joe — January 23, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

  26. Well, that one went through. :)

    Comment by Joe — January 23, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

  27. I wish the Yankees had a 3 CF outfield. At the moment, we have a former CF in left, with no arm at all, Brett Gardner, an honest-to-god burner of an outfielder, and… Xavier Nady. Better than Abreu I guess, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Save for Gardner, that’s about as average as you can get I guess.

    Comment by Kellah — March 25, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

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