Re: The 2013 Sox and OPS
posted at 2/10/2013 10:45 PM EST
In response to Joebreidey's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
None of the SS's that Theo went with were better offensively than defensively.
- OCab-Almost entirely defensive (You can't cite Aviles' .715 OPS as good O & ignore that OCab was at .721 before coming to Boston. He then had an .825 with the SOX, but I do agree, he was a great defensive SS, and to me, he was one big reason we won in 2004.)
- Renteria 2x GG (I'd say by the time we got Edgar, he was even or more O than D, He was at .874 in 2003.)
- Gonzo=Strictly defensive (Agreed the first time we had him, but the 2nd time he had lost a step on D and had suddenly found a power surge and about a 25 point OBP higher than his career .292 mark.)
- Lugo .742 OPS coming to Boston (Lugo can never be considered a defensive SS, even though he has decent range before the injuries turned him into a bust. BTW, Lugo had a .770 OPS with TB before a poor short stint with the Dodgers before coming here. His speed made him our likely lead off hitter when we got him. He had been about a .350 OBP guy in the 3 years with TB.)
- Scutaro about even split (He mostly a utility IF'er, so I wouldn't say he was even. He came off a .781 OPS with Toronot before the signing, and I'm pretty certain that Theo did not sign him for his defense. I will admit, he did better than expected, but as he aged, SS was not his true position.)
- Aviles-.715 career (Mike was a career .734 OPS when we got him. He was not at all known for his defense, and that is why KC dumped him. He did shock me last year with very decent SS D.)
In the 9 years Theo was here, we only had one year where you would expect some offense out of the SS, and that was with Renteria, who also had 2 GG's. In the other 8 years, we had no offense from SS. Theo also made two trades downgrading offense at SS in favor of defense, when he traded Nomar for OCab for feilding, and then traded Renteria and signed Gonzo.
You forgot Lowrie, who if he had stayed healthy might have won the position due to better than SS average offense.
I think if you look at comparative SS numbers, you'll find our SSs have performed better offensively than the leagu average most years since (and before) Nomar was given the boot.
From 2008-2012 out team SS OPS has been .706. That is tied for 11th and just .004 away from 9th. Our fielding placed us 17th on fangraph's Value (-1.2) and 16th in UZR.
I think the evidence proves otherwise, especially when you consider that injuries to Lugo and Lowrie really hurt the offensive numbers.
If anything, the numbers say that Theo favored defense at SS.
Lugo, Scutaro, Aviles, Lowrie, Green are not even close to Iggy on defense. Drew isn't either, but this is Ben now.
According to Fangraphs, from 2003-2011, the RS were 20th in fielding as SS, and 23rd in hitting. The idea that we were targeting offense over defense has no legs.
He inherited Nomar, that's why I used 2008-2012, but your point is well taken. The Renteria deal was a bit unfortunate in that Edgar must have been playing hurt to look so mediocre in the field, and then look good agauin the next season, so the perception there was that Edgar was a better hitter than fielder, but overall, he's pretty close to a toss-up.
BTW, on fangraphs, I see the Sox in 16th in UZR at -0.2 (18th on value page). The Sox were 13th in OPS at SS from 03-12.
I do not see any SS that Theo traded for or signed as a FA being sought for more of his defense than offense. Some were close. Even some of the utility IF'ers were weak fielding SSs (Lowrie/Green)
Drafting Lowrie and signing Iggy as an International FA might offset each other.
I agree that it is not as extreme as many here feel it is, and some guys like softy have played both sides of the issue.