Thursday, October 22, 2009

Phoning It In: Denard's Defense

Sorry gang, but I'm cooked. The night was spent standing on frigid Fort Snelling fields watching The Boy™'s soccer playoffs. Then a late dinner, an Always Sunny In Philadelphia episode featuring the Phillies "Phranatic" kicking the crap out of Charlie, and I'm pretty much cooked at 9:30.

So I was relieved to see that Parker Hageman from Over The Baggy stopped by yesterday's comments section and brought some insight to why Denard Span's defense might be rated poorly by UZR. In short, the baggy in right field doesn't allow him (or Micheal Cuddyer) to catch balls in the Metrodome that would be likely be caught in other parks. He points out that an alternate system ranks Span's defense much higher.

There's lots more to explore here, but tonight, that's going to be good enough. We'll come back to UZR later this offseason. If you're looking for more debate about it's merits and demerits, yesterday's commentators brought up plenty of good points.

Thanks for stopping by. See you Monday.


Parker said...

"Dear Chase...Aw sh*t, there's stickers." - Classic.

SoCalTwinsfan said...

That doesn't explain why Denard's UZR is poor in CF. If memory serves, his UZR has been below average in CF and above in the corners, or at least LF.

BeefMaster said...

SoCal's right on - Denard's UZR in center has been the real concern, especially since he's the primary starting centerfielder.

I could see his UZR in right or left also being negatively affected by the Gomez in center taking away some balls in the gap that either guy could get, but he doesn't have that excuse to fall back on when he plays center - Delmon and Cuddyer aren't likely to steal a ball in the gap from anyone.

Anonymous said...

Every player should have a worse UZR in CF compared to the corners. UZR is based on the average for position. So in CF his range is compared to Gomez and Elsbury. In RF to Cuddyer and Ordonez. Average gap is 10 runs.

My personal feeling is that he is average in center field and a good defender in the corners. He scores 3.9 on the fan scouting scale. Gomez and Crede, both good defenders, have similar scores.

TT said...

The differences in UZR are probably meaningless. Its not clear that it accurately quantifies anything.

That aside, I think any center fielder playing in the Dome is going to position himself deeper to prevent balls from getting by him. That means letting some balls fall in front of him that he would get to if he were playing shallower. I would think that would show up in UZR.

Span appears to be an above average center fielder. He is not as good as Gomez or Hunter in his prime, but his defense is still a plus. I certainly wouldn't change that evaluation based on his UZR. Of course if you think it isn't true - UZR is your stat to prove it.