The Reds outfield defense is pretty good.
Jay Bruce is the new UZR king with 9 and Willy Taveras is at 5.1 runs. That gives the Reds two centerfielders at all times, no matter who mans left field. The Reds don’t have many flyball heavy pitchers, but the staff as a whole are outperforming their FIP by 0.41 runs. Contribute a large part of that 3.93 staff ERA to a .289 batting average on balls in play against, which is tied for the fifth lowest in the league. For what it’s worth, fellow outfielders Jerry Hairston, Laynce Nix, and Chris Dickerson also rate as above average corner outfielders thus far, although not nearly to the extent of Bruce.
The left side of the Rays infield is the best in the league.
Evan Longoria ranks third individually with 7.4 runs and Jason Bartlett isn’t too far behind with 3.1 runs. Longoria rates as the best third baseman, a run better than Ryan Zimmerman, and Bartlett as the second best shortstop, behind Marco Scutaro. It’s also worth noting the Rays still maintain the best defense in the league, and now it’s not even close, 23.7 runs compared to the second place Brewers 11.6 runs.
From best to worst…
The White Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, and Red Sox make up the bottom of the league. I’m just as surprised as you to see the Red Sox ranking low. So far Jason Bay (-8.2, the lowest in the majors amongst qualified players), Julio Lugo (-2.4), Mike Lowell (-2.3), and J.D. Drew (-2.2) are killing them. The team leader is Kevin Youkilis at 1.4 runs. As for the Dodgers, Orlando Hudson and Andre Ethier are sinking them. You hate to make assumptions based on these small of sample sizes for defense, but if it holds up over the long haul then it’s time to proclaim Hudson’s run as an excellent defender over.
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