Love them or hate them, UZR values are probably the best defensive metrics available. Here is a look at some early season values.
The Royals are surprisingly, at least to me, ranked 3rd in the league with most of their value coming from throws (arm) and range. The Twins are the only other AL Central team with a positive value.
Looking through the list, only one name seems out of place and that is Escobar. Looking his raw fielding stats from BIS, they show that he has missed one play right at him and has one error. It seems the system may be a little rough on him or other SS, who he is being compared to, are having a good fielding year so far.
Trading for Freidman and Maddon
I am still a little ticked off at some of Yost's decisions last night. He may look a little better if he had better players. Once I start going down that path, I get mad at Moore. To solve my anger issues, I went off to dream world, Ass-U-n-Me'd Glass opened his pocket book and hired Maddon and Freidman away from the Rays. What compensation would the Royals have to give the Rays for the pair? Just last season, a
circus freak manager, Ozzie Guillen, and general manager, Theo Epstein, were traded to other teams. They were traded for AAAA or minor leaguers that weren't even considered to be prospects.
Ozzie Guillen traded for Osvaldo Martinez and Jahn Marinez
Theo Epstein traded for the other Chris Carpenter
So, if the Royals were to get both, how much compensation would the Royals need to give. I would be willing to give up Myers and Odorizzi. Would you be willing to give up more? Less? Would you rather have Moore and Yost?
There has been quite a bit of talk about the Royals having a shift on for Fielder's at bat when he went the opposite way driving in the go ahead run last night. First, is the shift necessary and did the Royals execute it correctly? Here is how many ground balls Fielder has hit to the different parts of the field. I divided the field up into 5 equal quadrants and got the % of ground balls into each zone. Using data from the crackpot website, BaseballHeatmaps, here are the values (2007 to 2012).
Left Field - 7%
Left Center - 15%
Center Field - 21%
Right Center - 30%
Right Field - 27%
Additionally, here are his line drive values:
Left Field - 9%
Left Center - 19%
Center Field - 28%
Right Center - 23%
Right Field - 20%
Putting a shift on Fielder is the right move.
Now, how should Fielder by pitched. The Royals are not wanting Fielder to hit the ball to the left side of the field. For Fielder to put it on the left side, he will need to have the ball on the outside of the plate and need to have problems getting around on it. Basically an outside fastball. What does Mijares throw him? Yep, you guessed it, an outside fastball on his third pitch.
The worst part was that Mijares intended to throw the pitch there are seen by the catcher's glove placement.
Once the fielders saw where the pitch was going, they should have adjusted in the field. Players can peak and see the catcher's glove placement. Escobar should have probably moved to his right once the pitcher started his motion thereby positioning himself almost directly behind the pitcher. Instead he was on the right side as seen here on the play.
If the Royals are going to shift, they need to make sure everyone knows is on the same boat for it to be executed correctly.