Highs and Lows of UZR 2007-9: Dye

As explained in the overview post, here, this is part of a series looking at the best and worst defensive performers over the past three combined seasons. Rankings are done by adding a player’s UZR with his aggregate positional adjustment so as to level the playing field with regards to difficulty. Essentially, it’s removing the grading curve.

Previously covered:
The Best
5th, Ryan Zimmerman 43.7 runs above average.
4th, Omar Vizquel 45.8 runs above average.
3rd, J.J. Hardy 48.7 runs above average.
2nd, Franklin Gutierrez 51.4 runs above average.
1st, Chase Utley 54.8 runs above average.

The Worst
5th, Jason Bay -64.9 runs to average.
4th, Ken Griffey Jr. -66.9 runs to average.

Tonight, the third worst player from 2007-9: OF Jermaine Dye.

It’s a big gap from Bay and Griffey, in the mid-60s runs below average, to Dye, who racked up an astounding 80.6 runs below average over the last three seasons.

Dye has been an enigma at the plate the past few seasons, posting a .417 wOBA in 2006, then a .343 in 2007 followed by a rebound back up to .376 and then a downfall back to .344 this past season. In the field, however, it’s been a smoothly consistent four years of suck. Dye’s UZRs in that time frame: -22.5, -21.6, -19.4 and -18.7. Hey, he’s improving! By 2025, he’ll be up to average.

Seriously, though, he flat out stinks and his unpredictable offense makes him a poor overall value. If he could mash like he did in 2006, that would be one thing; he managed a 3.2 WAR that year. But since then, he’s been worth 0.9 WAR combined in three seasons as his bat has dropped off.

As for 2010, Dye has a reportedly mutual option with the White Sox, who now also have room for him at DH with the end of Jim Thome‘s contract. At 36 years of age, it is highly unlikely that Dye will be worth anywhere near the $12 million owed to him in the option. It is also highly unlikely that Dye would be able to come close to that on the free market, so it would be wise of him to exercise it if he has such a choice. If so, we might yet see him on this list next year.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

17 Responses to “Highs and Lows of UZR 2007-9: Dye”

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  1. Christo says:

    It was a $12M club option with a $950,000 buyout. Kenny Williams announced yesterday that they were declining the option and paying the buyout, but leaving the door open to signing Dye – at a reduced price – after they see how the market evolves.

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  2. Rick B. says:

    I have a few things to say here. First of all are you measuring UZR in 2006-2009 or 2007-2009 because the title and intro suggest one thing but the actual data suggests another. I’m also unsure of how you are calculating these figures and I would like to know. I am not questioning your list. I love all of the things you do at this site, I just want to make sure a simple mathematical error is not occurring.

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  3. Kevin S. says:

    If I understand this series right, anybody who this spits out at less than -52.5 runs would provide more value as a DH, correct?

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    • Toffer Peak says:

      It’s just 2007-9. Not mentioned here but included as part of the equation is the positional adjustment, which for Dye was -20.9 in 2007-9.

      BTW, Dye’s UZR was -20.0 in 2009, not -18.7.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Yes, I meant from 2007-9. That’s how I came up with -52.5 (-17.5*3). Obviously, the threshold would be lower (since the -17.5 is per 162 games), but if a player’s UZR combined with his positional adjustment is lower than what it would have been if he DHed exclusively, shouldn’t he become a DH?

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      • Toffer Peak says:

        Hmm, sorry. I was replying to Rick B. above but this site’s software must have messed up.

        Any way in response to your question you are almost but right but also have to account for the increased difficulty in being a DH (players perform worse when they are made to DH than when they also get to field). I believe the at the Inside the Book blog Tangotiger recently said that the threshold was around -15 or so.

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  4. sunn0))) says:

    stunning that an NL team is likely to trot Dye out as a starting RF next year. sabermetrics have come a long way, but not nearly far enough…

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  5. Benne says:

    So will be #1 on this ignominious list: Adam Dunn or Brad Hawpe?

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  6. Nick Rogers says:

    I’m so glad he’s finally out of our outfield. If he was able to bounce back offensively, I’d be content with him filling our hole at DH.

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  7. Newcomer says:

    For the record, Dye says he’s not willing to DH next year. He’d be open to 1B, but not DH.


    Of course, good money could change his mind…

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    • Benne says:

      And that’s why God invented the DH. He just hated seeing pitchers bat and bad defenders flail around helplessly.

      (This post is meant to be a joke. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone who can’t take a joke.)

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    • Toffer Peak says:

      You would think with so few players wanting to DH that the player’s union wouldn’t be against getting rid of the DH.

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  8. walkoffblast says:

    It really is sad how irrelevant a gold glove is. Of the top 5 guys for the sample they managed 1 gold glove out of 15 chances and that was from the 5th place guy this year.

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  9. neuter_your_dogma says:

    Will it be appropriate to call the last player in this series a “LUZR?”

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