Monday, June 09, 2008

Infield Defense Sucks; Best Defender Benched

So much for putting more focus on defense this year. According to Michael Lichtman's UZR metric, things are not working out:

The Book Blog: How well can we project team defense and other UZR data…

MGL projects the Brewers's defense to be 12 runs below average after 62 games. The Brewer's defense called his -12 runs and raised it to -15! The major culprit? The infield. Both Hall and Fielder make the "worst list" and Hardy wasn't far behind. Weeks isn't mentioned but it's hard for me to picture his performance as above average, even if it has been better this year.

It's one thing to sacrifice infield defense for offense. It's quite another when your 1B has hit a little above average and the rest of your infield has been bad to worse. I still consider Hardy at least an average defender but the rest of those guys ...

But at least the Brewers have benched the best defensive CF (admittedly, in limited action) in the league to make room for 32 year old bench player with a career line of .272/.332/.422/.754. Gotta play the hot hand!

I'm starting to lose faith in Melvin's plan.

EDIT: After a little prodding, MGL was kind enough to give the UZR ratings for all the Brewer infielders:


Weeks has been below average, as I suspected. So far, much improved over last year, though. Both Hardy and Hall should be doing better, so hopefully they both improve as the year goes on.


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