Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mark, Your Defense. Woof!

Is it strange to anybody else to know that Mark Teixeira leads the team in errors?  I hadn't noticed that, which is equally strange because I had noticed that Teix had made a few errors and had not been his usual reliable, stabilizing presence over at first base since returning from the DL.  I was counting on his return to help solve some of the infield defense problems.  Instead, he's contributed to them.

Defensive statistics come with their own set of obligatory warnings, and this is not meant to imply that I think all of these are telling or prove anything, but Teix's defensive numbers are ugly across the board so far this year.  The 5 errors in fewer than 30 games are bad, the -2 DRS when he's never registered a single DRS value below 0 in his career is bad, and the -11.6 UZR/150 value that would be a career worst by over 10 runs in bad.

So what's the deal?  Is this a byproduct of Teix being rusty from all the missed time since 2012?  Is it some natural regression of his skills and athleticism that comes with being an injury-prone player in his mid-30s?  Is it the tired legs he mentioned after the Milwaukee series?  Or is it just some bad SSS luck and a few tough bounces?  There's reason to believe that any or all of these could be in play here, and the even split of fielding (3) and throwing (2) errors makes me think it could be rust more than anything.  Anything other than that and bad luck could mean more bad times for the infield (and pitching staff) moving forward.

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