Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

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    Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    Projo B. MacPherson 7 8 11

    Theo Epstein was roundly ridiculed early last season when his pitching-and-defense team didn't pitch and, at times, didn't play defense.

    But Epstein was following in the footsteps of the resurgent Tampa Bay Rays, who have built successful pitching staffs on the foundation of tremendous defensive teams who net them extra outs they wouldn't otherwise get. The Rays have been one of the top three defensive teams -- as measured by Baseball Prospectus' Defensive Efficiency -- in the major leagues in three of the past four years. They're turning 73.5 percent of batted balls into outs this year, tops in the major leagues. Seattle is second at 72.6 percent, and the Red Sox are third at 72.4 percent.

    Epstein made a point of improving what had been a woeful defensive team, and the efforts appear to have paid off, according to the Defensive Efficiency leaderboards:

    2009
    1. Seattle, 72.8 percent
    2. Los Angeles Dodgers, 72.5
    3. San Francisco, 72
    29. Boston, 69.1

    2010
    1. Oakland, 72.6 percent
    2. Tampa Bay, 72.2
    3. Seattle, 72.1
    14. Boston, 70.8

    2011
    1. Tampa Bay, 73.5 percent
    2. Seattle, 72.6 percent
    3. Boston, 72.4 percent

    A quick perusal through the Baseball Prospectus leaderboards reveals that this is the best defensive team the Red Sox have had since the dawn of the Steroid Era. The 1975 Red Sox had a 72.3 percent defensive efficiency. Dick Williams' 1967 Red Sox turned 73.7 percent of batted balls into outs, though that still was only good for sixth in the major leagues that year.

    There's one other short-term trend that's interesting: Since the end of the Steroid Era, the best defensive teams are getting better and better. In 2008, the year of their ascent, the Rays led the major leagues by turning 72.3 percent of batted balls into outs, and the Chicago Cubs ranked second at 71.9 percent.

    This season, however, the Rays would rank fourth and the Cubs would rank ninth with those same numbers.

    When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, they did so with the third-best defense in the major leagues -- a 71.6 defensive efficiency rating. That would rank them in a tie for 10th this season.

    As analysts try to figure out why batting averages and ERAs have tumbled, it might be worth looking at the players in the field -- players who appear to be making more plays and turning more batted balls into outs than they once did.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from niz-58. Show niz-58's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    In Response to Sox: 3rd best D in MLB:
    [QUOTE]Projo B. MacPherson 7 8 11 Theo Epstein was roundly ridiculed early last season when his pitching-and-defense team didn't pitch and, at times, didn't play defense. But Epstein was following in the footsteps of the resurgent Tampa Bay Rays, who have built successful pitching staffs on the foundation of tremendous defensive teams who net them extra outs they wouldn't otherwise get. The Rays have been one of the top three defensive teams -- as measured by Baseball Prospectus' Defensive Efficiency -- in the major leagues in three of the past four years. They're turning 73.5 percent of batted balls into outs this year, tops in the major leagues. Seattle is second at 72.6 percent, and the Red Sox are third at 72.4 percent. Epstein made a point of improving what had been a woeful defensive team, and the efforts appear to have paid off, according to the Defensive Efficiency leaderboards: 2009 1. Seattle, 72.8 percent 2. Los Angeles Dodgers, 72.5 3. San Francisco, 72 29. Boston, 69.1 2010 1. Oakland, 72.6 percent 2. Tampa Bay, 72.2 3. Seattle, 72.1 14. Boston, 70.8 2011 1. Tampa Bay, 73.5 percent 2. Seattle, 72.6 percent 3. Boston, 72.4 percent A quick perusal through the Baseball Prospectus leaderboards reveals that this is the best defensive team the Red Sox have had since the dawn of the Steroid Era. The 1975 Red Sox had a 72.3 percent defensive efficiency. Dick Williams' 1967 Red Sox turned 73.7 percent of batted balls into outs, though that still was only good for sixth in the major leagues that year. There's one other short-term trend that's interesting: Since the end of the Steroid Era, the best defensive teams are getting better and better. In 2008 , the year of their ascent, the Rays led the major leagues by turning 72.3 percent of batted balls into outs, and the Chicago Cubs ranked second at 71.9 percent. This season, however, the Rays would rank fourth and the Cubs would rank ninth with those same numbers. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, they did so with the third-best defense in the major leagues -- a 71.6 defensive efficiency rating. That would rank them in a tie for 10th this season. As analysts try to figure out why batting averages and ERAs have tumbled, it might be worth looking at the players in the field -- players who appear to be making more plays and turning more batted balls into outs than they once did.
    Posted by tom-uk[/QUOTE]

    Imagine what the pitching would be like if the defense was just millde of the road.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from sindarin-erebor. Show sindarin-erebor's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    Very nice. Defense has of course been an overlooked aspect for the Red Sox for many years, with a few exceptions.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from andrewmitch. Show andrewmitch's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    A good defensive play can not only lift your team but could be demoralizing to your opponent.....
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    m
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    In Response to Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB:
    [QUOTE]A good defensive play can not only lift your team but could be demoralizing to your opponent.....
    Posted by andrewmitch[/QUOTE]

    This is so true. 

    I have been critical of Jacoby as a CF'er, but have seen improvement this year. I'd still like to see better SS defense, but the rest of the team is solid.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    SS is the soft spot.
    Navarro might make it more credible if given the chance.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    m
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    Just think how bad everyone's defense would be if the Official Scorers did their job and ruled an error, an error. Youk's ground ball to SS Friday night was clearly an error. it seems as though if an infielder tries to play a ball from the side, even when he has time to get in front of it, it's usually a base-hit. If the ball is hit hard, even though it may be right at a fileder, and he botches it, it's a bsa-hit.
    These guys make phenomenol plays all the time, but given a pass most of the time on routine plays that they botch. Pop flies that drop untouched because of poor communication are supposed to be ruled an error on the closest postion player.
     
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    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    m
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hetchinspete. Show Hetchinspete's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    How about the Philadelphia game yesterday. Ryan Howard goes after a foul ball with a basket catch, drops it and it's a no call. Shouldn't that be an error !!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    This is one of the problems with using errors and fielding percentage as the main criteria for assessing a player's defense.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from blingblang. Show blingblang's posts

    Re: Sox: 3rd best D in MLB

    I remember a game within the last 2-3 weeks when Pedey was injured, and replaced by Sutton at 2nd.  What would have been a routine ground ball for Pedey turned out to be a single to RF because Sutton doesn't have the range that Pedey has.

    So you can imagine how many singles to the RF was converted into a ground ball out by Pedey.

    Same could be said of Ellsbury, Youk, Gonzo...  even Drew with his strong throw from the RF converting a double into a single make a difference.

    It does pick the whole team up, especialy the pitcher, who knows he can throw a strike because he can rely on this team's defense.
     

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