Monday, January 19, 2009
According to Fangraphs' UZR, via RLYW, the Yankees project to be seven runs above average defensively this year, a 46 run (or roughly 4 and a half win) upgrade over last year's team. Let's break this down a little. While Fangraphs expects slight regressions from Jeter, A-Rod, and Damon, the major improvements come from the departures of Bobby Abreu (-25.2 UZR last year) and Jason Giambi. While Giambi's -1.8 UZR last year is not horrible, he is replaced with Mark Teixeira's projected +3, which is a half-win upgrade in itself. Abreu's awful mark will be replaced mainly by Xavier Nady, but SG has Nick Swisher seeing some time in right as well. Nady projects to be -1, and Swisher +3. While a +7 team mark is encouraging, I don't think it will be that high. My reasoning for this is that I think SG gave Melky and Brett Gardner too much time in center for his projections. He has Nick Swisher playing just 242 innings in center, and Johnny Damon not playing any. I think that barring any moves, that pair will get at least half the innings in center. However, even with that scenario, the Yankees should still be greatly improved defensively in 2009.
Monday, February 25, 2008
For those of you who are deeply offended with the recent UPenn study claiming Derek Jeter is the worst shortstop in baseball, yeah, they're probably right. I just came across this article from the Toronto Star, and it goes into the Headline Hall of Fame: Jeter a Lousy Fielder? So Say Eggheads... I actually laughed out loud at that headline. I know that Jeter has made some great defensive plays, but he really does have bad range, according to every fielding metric. Just think, how many times during a typical Yankee game do you hear Micheal Kay say, "Past a diving Jeter!" on a ball not really very far away from him. You can try to argue that he has three gold gloves, but the people who give out gold gloves are stupid. That's it. Plain old stupid. Jeter is still one of the best offensive shortstops in the game, and is also a good base-runner. He was hampered in the field last year by injuries, and 2007 was his worst fielding year ever. He should improve in '08, but will still be below average. Derek Jeter is my favorite player ever, but you have to look at things objectively.