Year over (1/2)Year UZR Figures

Nearly half way through the season, I thought I would check in on the defensive numbers once more. This time, I took the team totals from 2008 and so far through 2009 and going by UZR per inning, rank the teams in order from most improved to least.

Fair warning, a half season worth of UZR data is not that big of a sample size in which to draw good conclusions from. That being said, it is a fun little exercise. THe numbers below are differences in UZR, projected out to a full seasons worth of 2009.

Tigers 97.9
Pirates 89.8
Reds 89.7
Rangers 84.7
Seattle 69.6
Dodgers 58.7
Dbacks 53.2
Yankees 28.2
Brewers 25.3
Giants 23.1
Rockies 6.9
Angels 5.5
Padres 2.7
Chi(A) 1.0
Chi(N) -2.6
Twins -6.6
Rays -10.0
StLouis -24.3
Braves -28.3
Toronto -28.5
Marlins -31.0
Oakland -31.9
Orioles -40.7
Royals -44.7
Astros -46.1
Indians -51.0
Philly -57.7
Mets -70.1
RedSox -80.3
Wash -81.7

The Nationals have boasted a better than average line up and pitching that is not too terrible. Wonder why they are on pace to add Bryce Harper to Stephen Strasburg next June? Defense. Conversely, improved defense is playing a key role in helping the Rangers and Mariners hang around in the AL West and it is giving the Tigers a lead in the AL Central.

Keep in mind that these are just differences from 2008. The Rays are ten runs worse than they were last year, but they were tops in 2008 and are so far remaining atop the league in 2009 as well.

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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.

8 Responses to “Year over (1/2)Year UZR Figures”

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  1. Justin says:

    Basically the injury of Aki and Bartlett have caused that little disturbance in there UZR.

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  2. Max says:

    Is it true that UZR still uses Shea’s park factor for games played at Citifield?

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  3. Jamie says:

    its crazy that the phillies are so much worse in UZR. with basically the same defense(except raul, who is posting good UZR), the phillies are doing HORRIBLE.

    i can’t put much faith in this stat.

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    • don says:

      The Phillies aren’t doing horrible, they’ve gone from among the best to near average. It’s not surprising that Utley is a little slower laterally coming off a hip surgery, and Rollins is a bit of a mess this year in general. Werth didn’t have enough of a track record to know how good or bad he really was. The only one that really surprises me is Victorino.

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      • Davidceisen says:

        I think by the end of the season Utley, Victorino, and Rollins will have substantially higher UZRs.

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  4. BX says:

    And here are the numbers to prove what was pretty much known.

    The A’s would be much better off right now with Barton in over Giambi at 1B and Cust at DH with Buck playing RF. That should make up a good chunk of that -30 run difference.

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  5. Tom B says:

    RedSox -80.3

    uhm… wow?

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  6. Matt S says:

    The Red Sox are a huge surprise defensively this year. While Pedroia and Ellsbury are both young and therefore hard to assess, I would think both would be better than they are this season (Pedroia 3.4 UZR, Ellsbury -5.6). Mike Lowell, usually a good defensive 3B, has been awful this year (-8 UZR compared to 11.1 last year) but with him injured and Youk taking over Lugo is the only real sink hole for them and his days at SS are numbered as well.

    All of their options to replace Youk at first are about average fielding 1B and Youk is a plus 3B. If Ellsbury recovers his form and can play at least average CF, Jason Bay and the SS position will be the only defensive issues among their everday players. Should these numbers regress I could see the Sox pitchers really reaping the benefits. Lester in particular suffered from a high BABIP early on and defense was the main cause.

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