UZR Tidbits Through April 19th

When Seattle and Tampa Bay open their three-game series on Tuesday night, it will mark a match-up of the two best defensive teams in the majors. At least when measured by team UZR. Some would say the Mariners are following a similar path to the Rays of 2007 and 2008; going from a poor team defensive to one of the best in the league within one off-season.

Seattle’s surge has been lead by your current UZR king, Franklin Gutierrez, Endy Chavez, and Adrian Beltre. Meanwhile another newcomer, Ronny Cedeno, has taken kindly to an all encompassing utility role, producing positive UZR in left and at second base in about 30 innings of work.

Meanwhile, defense is apparently unwelcome in the general Washington D.C. area. The nationals and Orioles make up the two worst defenses to date. That seems a bit surprising in Baltimore’s case, given an extremely athletic outfield and shortstop Cesar Izturis. Bizarrely all four register as negatives thus far, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Speaking of improved defenses, let’s hear it for the Texas Rangers and Jon Daniels. Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Omar Vizquel, and Hank Blalock are all rated as average or slightly above, with Cruz tying Gutierrez for the overall UZR lead. The Rangers worst defender has been Michael Young, who isn’t taking to third base as quickly as the Rangers would’ve hoped.

The Padres haven’t showcased much range (-4 RngR) yet when they have fielded balls, they’ve converted them into outs, as showcased by a positive ErrR.

Minnesota’s outfield boasts one Delmon Young, who has gunned down plenty a baserunner in his day, but still they have the lowest combined ARM rating in the league. Atlanta leads the league in ARM.

Not much has went right for the Yankees thus far, but their infield has been silky smooth at flipping double plays, a far cry from the Phillies, who, along with the Cardinals and Royals, have fewer than -1 run earned through DPs.

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11 Responses to “UZR Tidbits Through April 19th”

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  1. Mike K says:

    If Derek Jeter finishes the year with a positive UZR, does the earth stop spinning?

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  2. excatcher says:

    I don’t understand why UZR hates Baltimore so much. If you watch the games, you can see Adam Jones has claimed 2/3 of the outfield (3.1 RF/G), and Pie looks like a little leaguer out there, but UZR thinks Pie/Markakis are liabilities and gives points to Pie. Same thing happened last year, Nick rated very poorly on defense, while leading the majors with 17 A.

    Maybe it’s because of the poor pitching causing 20-30 balls hit to the outfield each game?

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    • excatcher says:

      thinks *Jones/Markakis* are liabilities. Pie, so far, is one.

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    • don says:

      Markakis and Jones were rated as very good fielders and Pie as a lousy one last year, unless I’m missing something.

      I wouldn’t take the fielding values for this year too seriously until the All-Star break. They can be pretty wonky with small sample sizes.

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      • Davidceisen says:

        UZR does seem like an odd stat to be looking at so early in the season.

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      • phildo says:

        you shouldn’t always take them seriously over an entire season. looking at uzr data and expecting to take way things like “the rangers have an improved defense” is ridiculous.

        pie played very well in cf in 2007, and he played twice as many innings there than in 2008. looking at 200 innings of pie’s fielding and concluding that he is lousy is a mistake. uzr has him a good cf over his career so far and scouts seem to like his defense (plus the orioles will be playing him in left a lot. he should be one of the best defensive corner outfielders in baseball).

        this is why looking at small sample sizes of uzr data is silly. and that is a couple hundred innings. rj is looking at even less. i don’t know what he was thinking with this post.

        i would actually be willing to bet a decent amount of money that the orioles outfield will have a positive uzr by the end of the season, and by a decent amount.

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  3. phildo says:

    i meant “looking at uzr data for two weeks and expecting to…”


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  4. RollingWave says:

    MY EYES!!!!!!!!!!

    Derek Jeter: 3.6 UZR/150

    you think they’re missing A-rod yet?

    Cody Ransom: -24.1

    well at least he got his OPS+ back into double digits. it was 0 just a couple of days ago.

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  5. Kevin C. says:

    It’s scary to think how good the Mariners UZR will be after Ichiro’s UZR levels out to his usual top form

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