Saturday, September 18, 2010

And Our Suspicions Are Confirmed

For the heck of it, we decided to look up the Pirate fielding stats after giving up another bushel of infield and bloop singles. The rating we zeroed in on was RZR, the Revised Zone Rating, which tallies the percentage of balls hit into a player's zone that are converted into outs. The field isn't cut into 9 neat little pieces, but divided into areas that a fielder has a reasonable chance (50% or better) of making a play.

And hey - guess who is way last? Yep, the Buccos. Their Zone Rating is .786, the only MLB under .800+. Counterintuitively, they lead the league in OOZ - out of zone - plays. So they can make the tough play, but not the routine one. Maybe Carlos Garcia isn't the second coming of Perry Hill after all. Or maybe he doesn't have the tools in the box Hill had last year.

The team UZR (ultimate fielding rating, with 0 being the league average) is -41.5. Only the Indians and Royals butcher balls at a greater rate.

So don't blame it all on the pitchers. For any pitch-to-contact hurler, the team defense is a nightmare, and needs addressed in 2011.

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