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Defensive Runs Saved Matters!


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https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/outs_above_average?type=Fielder&year=2020&team=LAA&range=year&min=q&pos=&roles=&viz=show&sort=5&sortDir=desc

This is pretty much why the Angels have failed so miserably this season. 

While we want to pick apart the starting rotation, they've actually been pretty decent. Good enough to win a hell of a lot more ballgames if the defense played better and the Angels performed better with RISP. 

I think if you ranked the team's woes in order it would go something like this:

1. Defense.

2. Hitting w/ RISP

3. Bullpen

4. Joe Maddon

5. Two-out runs given up by pitching staff

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Defense - give 1B to Walsh and also work out Ohtani there, re-sign Simba, and have Adell play in the Fall League to work on his defense.

Hitting with RISP - hard one to gauge

Bullpen - Need 3 spots filled for next season.   Mayers, Milner, Pena, Bedrock Jr., and for the past 3 weeks Andriese have been fine.

Maddon, some weird decisions, but can’t gauge a mgr’s first year fully when it’s only 60 games long.

Two out runs allowed - this one will eventually be resolved via ICWT.

Edited by Angel Oracle
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Thanks for posting this, @Chuckster70.

Defensive stats are difficult to assess on the whole.  Defense absolutely matters, but I am not sure which defensive metrics are the best to rely on, as they vary wildly.

For example - Fangraphs has Fletcher rated as a better defensive SS than Simmons, but do we really believe that?

That said, if we did re-sign Simmons to a modest deal, having a defensive infield of Rendon, Simmons, and Fletcher should be rather elite.  The question will be OF defense, but I think we can expect it to improve if/when Adell shifts to LF and Upton is mainly a DH.  This is why, IMO, having Ohtani train to play RF (with Upton shifting to DH) can potentially be a key way to improve us defensively, too.

While Ohtani did say he wasn't very good at playing the OF, I have to imagine with his speed/explosiveness and cannon of an arm, he can become a pretty good RFer.

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1 hour ago, Warfarin said:

Thanks for posting this, @Chuckster70.

Defensive stats are difficult to assess on the whole.  Defense absolutely matters, but I am not sure which defensive metrics are the best to rely on, as they vary wildly.

For example - Fangraphs has Fletcher rated as a better defensive SS than Simmons, but do we really believe that?

That said, if we did re-sign Simmons to a modest deal, having a defensive infield of Rendon, Simmons, and Fletcher should be rather elite.  The question will be OF defense, but I think we can expect it to improve if/when Adell shifts to LF and Upton is mainly a DH.  This is why, IMO, having Ohtani train to play RF (with Upton shifting to DH) can potentially be a key way to improve us defensively, too.

While Ohtani did say he wasn't very good at playing the OF, I have to imagine with his speed/explosiveness and cannon of an arm, he can become a pretty good RFer.

The issue with defensive metrics is that sample sizes matter more than in any other situation.  The general belief these days is that the best sample when looking at an individual player is one that covers multiple seasons. 

The Fletcher/Simmons comp is a perfect example of this.  Simmons had a rough couple of games early on, had a goof, a bad wheel, and at one point had a negative mark.  Over a 30 game sample 2 errors and limited range can look awful, but those same 2 errors over 162 games might be insignificant and the range data will start to even out....  That's the entire issue with defensive stats, since you can't project errors or even chances for that matter, you have to wait out the larger sample to get the better statistical view. 

Thing is, I wasn't looking at the stats when I was harping about the defense, I was watching the team play and seeing all the runs coming across the plate that weren't being considered unearned runs because the plays that led to them weren't ruled errors.  It's no real surprise the team has produced better results since trading off La Stella and Goodwin, for all their offensive merits they were both absolute butchers defensively.  Truth is the team might have 3 more wins had they simply kept Hermosillo up over Adell.

Defense matters.... run prevention has been proven to have a greater impact on wins than run production.  

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5 hours ago, Chuckster70 said:

Eh5E0mJWkAAuOjB.png

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/leaderboard/outs_above_average?type=Fielder&year=2020&team=LAA&range=year&min=q&pos=&roles=&viz=show&sort=5&sortDir=desc

This is pretty much why the Angels have failed so miserably this season. 

While we want to pick apart the starting rotation, they've actually been pretty decent. Good enough to win a hell of a lot more ballgames if the defense played better and the Angels performed better with RISP. 

I think if you ranked the team's woes in order it would go something like this:

1. Defense.

2. Hitting w/ RISP

3. Bullpen

4. Joe Maddon

5. Two-out runs given up by pitching staff

I would switch 3 and 2.  In fact there is a good argument for 3 to be number 1

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6 minutes ago, Stradling said:

Using my eyes tells me our outfield defense isn’t good.  Trout looks average at best defensively this year.  Simmons to me looks better defensively than Fletcher.  

Yeah, I do think our outfield defense has certainly cost us games this year.  Adell, Upton, and Goodwin have all been terrible, and Trout has been average at best as you said.

I think Marsh should help next year, if his defensive rep in the minors is accurate, and hopefully Adell shifting over to LF should help him (and us), too.

Time will tell about Trout.  

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