When it comes to defense, the Baltimore Orioles have the edge over the Detroit Tigers — and it’s really not even close.
As the table above shows, the Orioles are stronger in the advanced defensive metrics, defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating, while also posting a slightly higher fielding percentage, fewer errors and less stolen bases.
Fifteen Tigers players with at least 100 innings at their position have posted a negative DRS this season, including Nick Castellanos, who’s -30 DRS is a team low.
New to defensive runs saved? Here’s how FanGraphs.com describes it:
Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) is a defensive statistic calculated by The Fielding Bible, an organization run by John Dewan, that rates individual players as above or below average on defense. Much like UZR, players as measured in “runs” above or below average, and Baseball Info Solutions data is used as an input.
Only two starting position players, second baseman Ian Kinsler and catcher Alex Avila, have a positive number in the DRS category (20 and 5 respectively).
Here’s how the Tigers projected fielders have fared this season:
According to FanGraphs’ DRS tiering, only two Tigers are fielding their positions at an “above average” ranking (Avila and Kinsler, who is playing “Gold Glove caliber” defense at second). Detroit is “average” or “below average” in four positions and “awful” at third base and right field.
And now the O’s:
It should be noted that neither playoff roster is currently set. This information was pulled from the rosters on RosterSource.com.
The Birds have just one position player with a “below average” ranking, Alejandro De Aza in left field. Interestingly, David Lough has a 7 DRS this season.
Two Orioles fall into the “above average” category (Joseph and Pearce), while Schoop and Hardy are “great”.
But you already knew that, right?
As dreadful as the Orioles have looked at third base, Flaherty’s performance has been nothing when compared to that of Nick Castellanos.
For further break down of the O’s and Tigers defenses, check out this week’s BSR Podcast.
Image Credit: Keith Allison
As a team the O’s have the defensive edge, despite the wheels separating completely the last 10 games of the season . However the horrendous defense at the catcher position of late is cause for MAJOR concern.
In case anyone missed it our catchers looked like little league rejects in the closing weeks. Passed balls (allowing winning runs for the opponent), dropped throws so easy to catch it defies explanation. How is it possible for a ML player to drop a ball thrown belt high with no interference/distraction? Catchers are always hustled to the majors as there are so few of them in the pipeline- but being unable to catch a thrown ball- again and again- where do they get these guys?
These are HUGE issues. If I am an Oriole pitcher I’d be VERY nervous with either of these guys as a battery mate. BTW I won’t even touch the lack of offense for this pair. Essentially the catcher spot in the lineup is an automatic out. On the bright side it is not possible for either to play worse and even one hit in 20 ABs for the combined pair of them would be a precious gift.
At best Buck is counting on no more than a combined BA below .100. If they can just play above average high school defense (per chance low college?) the rest of the team can cover the lack of talent. Still it would be nice if a no-hit combo at catcher could/would at least catch the ball on even a minor league level.
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