To err is human; three errors is the Red Sox: the defense thread.

simplicio

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It's been bad! It's been ugly! Again!

As of tonight we have a league leading 20 errors, which is a nice easy number to project going forward. 162 would be the most for a season in the last 30 years, and no team this century has managed more than 145.
More crushingly, 26 of our 81 runs given (32%) have been unearned. They've pretty definitively cost us 3 games so far. Maybe more. It's brutal.

The downside:
Story is out. Reyes and Hamilton have both been brutal. Abreu started terribly, then made some miracle plays, but still seems to suffer with inconsistency. Everyone except the catchers has made at least one boneheaded mistake.

The middleground:
Devers and Casas have been more garden variety bad, which actually feels like a significant improvement over last year?

The good:
The standard outfield configuration is actually pretty great (ignore Rafa's recorded errors, two of those were Abreu's and Casas' faults). Valdez is unexpectedly competent! Romy looked competent for a game! Dalbec has 0 errors because he excels at putting up zeros.

The unknown:
Where does Grissom play on his return and is he an upgrade there? With Refsnyder back, what's the OF configuration and do we see Rafa move to SS?

So let's talk bad and good D here. Defensive highlights are the best part of baseball so feel free to post away. Defensive lowlights build healthy community bonds so feel free to kvetch away too.
 

simplicio

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We have 10 losses. Of those:

3/30 @ SEA: Reyes at 3B makes a terrible throw past 1B in the first to give up an extra bag, the runner eventually comes in to score, the game ends up in extras. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=b3de2b08-9140-48df-81a3-7deed21c4872
In the 10th, Abreu misplays a soft liner and puts guys on second and third, so JP Crawford's infield dribbler scores the tying run instead of being a game ending DP.

4/6 @ LAA: Devers clanks a bouncing grounder, two score instead of ending the inning, we lose 1-2.
https://www.mlb.com/gameday/746248/video/isaiah-campbell-in-play-run-s-to-anthony-rendon
But wait, bonus non-error Reyes content! Because the reason they were even still in the inning was Pablo producing this garbage: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=137dd7fd-96fa-4cec-a824-7c1a355f723b

4/18 vs CLE: Hamilton bonks a grounder off his glove in the 3rd, runner eventually scores. Then in the 5th Pablo has another bad throw to Casas from third that turns into another two unearned runs in the inning. We lose 4-5.

Make it stop!
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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So get rid of Hamilton and we’ve got Aaron Burr! Cool!

seriously though it’s crazy to see how important an anchor- and in this case- the most important defensive position on the field- being lost sets the ship adrift.
When is Grissom back? Will he even help?
The team on paper is better than last season’s and I suspect there’s some noise and jitters and that while the unearned runs and errors may continue to be shite…. They won’t be as bad as the ratio projections are
 
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Amos Otis regrets

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My optimism about this season (in spring training I always look for reasons to find the glass half-full) was founded on a vastly improved defense - primarily in the middle infield. The recent string of misplays has me seriously discouraged. Reyes? Hamilton? Ugh. I'm eager to see what Grissom brings but even then it's hard to see a competent shortstop coming through the door anytime soon.
 

6-5 Sadler

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Everyone except the catchers has made at least one boneheaded mistake.
I wouldn’t completely absolve the catchers in this discussion. Although not really boneheaded plays, the Sox lead the league in wild pitches + passed balls. I suspect some of that could be the increased offspeed pitch usage (and SSS obviously) but Wong has never been great at blocking pitches (McGuire is closer to average).
 
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simplicio

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My optimism about this season (in spring training I always look for reasons to find the glass half-full) was founded on a vastly improved defense - primarily in the middle infield. The recent string of misplays has me seriously discouraged. Reyes? Hamilton? Ugh. I'm eager to see what Grissom brings but even then it's hard to see a competent shortstop coming through the door anytime soon.
I really do think Romy could be that guy.

View: https://youtu.be/41EJ00TY74o?si=SlPIj1pVaTeKhktZ


https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=6057f8c3-ea03-4b1b-bbe9-42ad52f6109d
 

jon abbey

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MLBN had a graphic tonight:

Most Unearned Runs Allowed Through First 20 Games (Since 2020)

2001 Tampa 27
2024 Boston 26
2010 LAD 20
2003 Cincinnati 20
 

grimshaw

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DRS by position:

Pitchers (-1)
Catchers (-2) Wong -2, McGuire 0
1b (-1) Casas -2, Reyes 0, Dalbec 1
2b (-3) Valdez -3, Reyes -1, Rafaela and Wong 0
3b (-4) Dalbec -2, Reyes and Devers -1 each
SS (-2) Story 2, Hamilton -2, Reyes -2, Gonzalez and Rafaela 0
LF (+1) Duran 2, O'Neill (-1), Yoshida and Refsnyder 0
CF (+3) Rafaela 2, Duran 1
RF (+1) Abreu +2, O'Neill -1

In 2023:
C (+1)
1b (-4)
2b (-12)
3b (-9)
SS (+9)
LF (-2)
CF (-5)
RF (+8)

Shockingly they are somehow 17th in defensive efficiency.
 
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simplicio

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Not sure what the source is, but Fangraphs DRS had them at +4 for last year. Almost entirely Story's astounding +8 making up for Kiké's -6, but Hamilton and Reyes were somehow both +1 there as well.

Story somehow started this season even better than last too. That loss is such a sucker punch.
 

Max Power

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Defensive stats like that are useless when looking at how many games mistakes have cost the team. They're okay for looking at a particular player over a couple years, but same sizes are too small and context is too important for errors to use a context-neutral stat like DRS. I can believe that Hamilton has plus range and can look good in small sample sizes of DRS, but he routinely fucks up double plays and lets balls go right through him.

Shortstop is the single most important defensive position in baseball, yet it's even more important for the Red Sox. With Devers at third and rotating question marks at second, Story was the glue that tied it together. Hopefully Gonzalez can come back and stabilize things while Mayer tears through AA and AAA, earning a second half call-up.
 

RS2004foreever

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We have 10 losses. Of those:

3/30 @ SEA: Reyes at 3B makes a terrible throw past 1B in the first to give up an extra bag, the runner eventually comes in to score, the game ends up in extras. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=b3de2b08-9140-48df-81a3-7deed21c4872
In the 10th, Abreu misplays a soft liner and puts guys on second and third, so JP Crawford's infield dribbler scores the tying run instead of being a game ending DP.

4/6 @ LAA: Devers clanks a bouncing grounder, two score instead of ending the inning, we lose 1-2.
https://www.mlb.com/gameday/746248/video/isaiah-campbell-in-play-run-s-to-anthony-rendon
But wait, bonus non-error Reyes content! Because the reason they were even still in the inning was Pablo producing this garbage: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=137dd7fd-96fa-4cec-a824-7c1a355f723b

4/18 vs CLE: Hamilton bonks a grounder off his glove in the 3rd, runner eventually scores. Then in the 5th Pablo has another bad throw to Casas from third that turns into another two unearned runs in the inning. We lose 4-5.

Make it stop!
I think on 4/5 Duran drops a fly ball with the Red Sox up 5-1 which opened the floodgates.
 

simplicio

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That was Rafa's error I think (and it didn't cost us the game, but it definitely made it harder). Duran's was at Fenway.
 

grimshaw

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Not sure what the source is, but Fangraphs DRS had them at +4 for last year. Almost entirely Story's astounding +8 making up for Kiké's -6, but Hamilton and Reyes were somehow both +1 there as well.

Story somehow started this season even better than last too. That loss is such a sucker punch.
Ah, I went with ROTOwire but they use current rosters for some reason so I missed Kiké's. FWIW Grissom was a -7.
 

Zincman

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Given that during the past two years the Sox have established themselves as the most fundamentally unsound team in MLB through terrible defense, unbelievably poor base-running and a general lack of understanding of game situations, all of which are coachable, how is it that Cora seems to get a pass on these issues. If he's not responsible and accountable, then who is?
 

JimBoSox9

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Last night's defensive alignment infuriated me. You've got Rafela, an elite-potential CF, kicking balls at SS. You've got Durran, at least a pretty good LF, playing below-average CF. You've got Abreu having adventures in LF. I get that Story going down fucked the whole pig roast, but how many guys are you going to pull out of ideal positioning to cover for it?
 

simplicio

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Rafaela has made some dumb mistakes, and he made another last night. But if you actually watch him there compared to Hamilton, it becomes apparent pretty quickly why he seems to be the new SS. Especially with Refsnyder back in the mix. At this point the team is probably better served sending down Hamilton than any of the OF candidates.

I think the Duran vs Abreu alignment is mostly a factor of speed. Abreu just isn't all that fast, and I don't think CF suits him for that reason alone.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Last night's defensive alignment infuriated me. You've got Rafela, an elite-potential CF, kicking balls at SS. You've got Durran, at least a pretty good LF, playing below-average CF. You've got Abreu having adventures in LF. I get that Story going down fucked the whole pig roast, but how many guys are you going to pull out of ideal positioning to cover for it?
Rafaela is the best defensive SS they have on the 40-man. I think the stronger defense is what we saw last night versus Rafaela in CF, Duran in LF, and god knows who at SS.
 

pjheff

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I really don’t understand this post.

Last night's defensive alignment infuriated me.
The Sox won 8-1.

You've got Rafela, an elite-potential CF, kicking balls at SS.
He might need some time to adjust to the new position, but the other options have shown themselves likely incapable of competently handling the spot even with an adjustment period.

You've got Durran, at least a pretty good LF, playing below-average CF.
What exactly did he do below-average that cost the team last night?

You've got Abreu having adventures in LF.
Was Abreu in LF because of Story or because O’Neil crashed into Devers?

I get that Story going down fucked the whole pig roast, but how many guys are you going to pull out of ideal positioning to cover for it?
As many as it takes. They’ve tried to get by with Hamilton and Gonzalez, and it hasn’t worked. With the return of Refsnyder and the added OF depth, it makes sense to see if Rafaela can shore up SS.
 

Benj4ever

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DRS by position:

Pitchers (-1)
Catchers (-2) Wong -2, McGuire 0
1b (-1) Casas -2, Reyes 0, Dalbec 1
2b (-3) Valdez -3, Reyes -1, Rafaela and Wong 0
3b (-4) Dalbec -2, Reyes and Devers -1 each
SS (-2) Story 2, Hamilton -2, Reyes -2, Gonzalez and Rafaela 0
LF (+1) Duran 2, O'Neill (-1), Yoshida and Refsnyder 0
CF (+3) Rafaela 2, Duran 1
RF (+1) Abreu +2, O'Neill -1

In 2023:
C (+1)
1b (-4)
2b (-12)
3b (-9)
SS (+9)
LF (-2)
CF (-5)
RF (+8)

Shockingly they are somehow 17th in defensive efficiency.
I don't know/care how DRS are calculated, but I can tell you, as a former high school 1B, that Casas excels at scooping up low/short hop throws and saving throwing errors.
 

Rovin Romine

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Last night's defensive alignment infuriated me. You've got Rafela, an elite-potential CF, kicking balls at SS. You've got Durran, at least a pretty good LF, playing below-average CF. You've got Abreu having adventures in LF. I get that Story going down fucked the whole pig roast, but how many guys are you going to pull out of ideal positioning to cover for it?
It infuriated you? Have you been watching the IF over the last 9 games or so? This is hardly the very first thing they've tried.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Last night's defensive alignment infuriated me. You've got Rafela, an elite-potential CF, kicking balls at SS. You've got Durran, at least a pretty good LF, playing below-average CF. You've got Abreu having adventures in LF. I get that Story going down fucked the whole pig roast, but how many guys are you going to pull out of ideal positioning to cover for it?
Have you seen Hamilton at SS? He makes Cedanne seem like Ozzie Smith at shortstop. Wily is getting his shot in the outfield because O ' Neil collided with Devers and has a concussion. I thought Duran played competently in centerfield on Friday night. What did he do wrong? Need I remind you, they won 9 to 1.
If Friday night's defense infuriated you, I'd hate to see how you reacted to some of the Red Sox other defense miscues earlier on this season.
Anyway our defense is only going to be worse if Casas is out for any length of time. He has really improved his defense this year in particular scooping throws and saving some errors.