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NJ.com: Why are the Yankees so bad defensively?
1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 2:23AM #1
Jon
Posts: 2,332

From yesterday.



www.nj.com/yankees/2020/09/why-are-the-y...


The playoff-bound Yankees are feeling great about their October chances despite losing three of their past four games. Before this mini-slump, the Yanks' first losses after 10 wins, they’d been piling up runs and getting tremendous pitching consistently, especially from their rotation.

They also have Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela and others back in their lineup after dealing with a bunch of injuries for the second year in a row.

There is very one important area that should be a major concern: defense.

The Yankees are piling up errors.

The Yankees committed four more in Wednesday night’s 14-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo, leaving them with 23 over their last 18 games and 43 in 56 games.

This fielding slump has their fielding percentage down to an American League worst .977, a franchise low since they finished at .977 in 1984 when shortstops Bobby Meacham and Andre Robertson combined for 34 errors.

The Yanks' fielding this season has been so erratic that only the 17-39 Pittsburgh Pirates have a lower fielding percentage (.976), and the only clubs with more errors are the Pirates (46) and 22-34 Red Sox (43).

“Those are things that if we’re going to reach our ultimate goal, we’ve got to do a better job,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously mistakes are going to happen, but I think when you make a few in a couple of games, it’s an opportunity to say ‘OK, let’s shine a light on this. Let’s tighten this up and let’s be a little bit better than that.’”

The Yankees need to get a lot better in a hurry because the playoffs start next week.

In Wednesday night’s game, catcher Gary Sanchez threw wildly on an attempted pick off at first base, shortstop Gleyber Torres booted a routine ground ball (and also dropped a throw that would’ve nailed a runner at second base), and first baseman Luke Voit botched a grounder that he should have allowed to go to second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

“Everything was bad," Voit said. "It was like we’re the Bad News Bears.”

Torres has eight errors, which is tied for the most among any Major League shortstop, and his .935 fielding percentage is by far the worst among the 25 shortstops playing at least 30 games (with the San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford next at .956). Despite his bat, which also hasn’t been great this season, Torres is making the Yankees and their fans miss the dependability that they had at shortstop with Derek Jeter and Didi Gregorius.

Sanchez, who has six passed balls, has five errors in 37 games. After leading the league in passed balls twice in his first four MLB seasons, he is tied for the most this season.

“It’s careless mistakes that the Yankees are making,” a long-time MLB scout who wanted to remain anonymous told NJ Advance Media. “Sanchez had a ball go off his glove Sunday where he just reached for it. I’m like, ‘Move your body.’ Well, it’s tough to move your body when you’re on one knee.”

On Friday night, the Yanks won in Boston despite shortstop Gleyber Torres dropping an on-target throw while he was covering second on a force attempt and second baseman Tyler Wade not catching a throw at first after a bunt.

“Stuff like that is where most of the Yankees' mistakes come and they’re going to have to avoid that in the playoffs,” the scout said. “I tell my team, ‘Every ball you hit, run as hard as you can because the Yankees get laxed with throws. They’ll get lazy.’”

The thing is, the Yankees have a lot of elite fielders – Urshela at third base, LeMahieu at second, Aaron Hicks in center, Judge in right and Brett Gardner in left when he plays. Also, Sanchez has one of the strongest catcher throwing arms.

“You look around that field and there is no reason for the Yankees to have that many errors or play defense like they do on certain days,” the scout said.

The Yankees were a little better in 2019 when their .983 fielding percentage was ninth best among 15 AL clubs.

This year, Yankees pitchers are part of the problem, as they have eight errors. Jordan Montgomery leads AL pitchers with three and Sunday’s starter Deivi Garcia was charged with his second in five starts on a wild pickoff throw to first base.

"Granted Garcia is young, but you’re sitting there watching and like, “Boston is not going to steal many bases, so why do you keep picking over there like that?'” the scout said. “Then all of a sudden he throws one away and the guy ends up on third base.”

The Yankees didn’t even play a clean game on Saturday when they had no errors in an 8-0 win at Fenway Park. Luke Voit was doubled up on the bases after losing track of the outs and ...

“There was a play that sums up their season in the field,” the scout said. "The Yankees were playing the shift with Urshela over at short and Wade moving from short to behind second base. There’s a ground ball to Wade, and instead of getting the out at first, he decides to throw to third and make Urshela sprint over there and try to make a play. The umpire calls the runner out, but they go to replay and he’s safe.

“Do that in a pressure-packed, playoff situation and it might come back to hurt you. They better play smarter and have their infielders be cognizant of moving their feet, getting in a good position and making the right throw. Catch the ball. I just think their errors come from being lazy and careless.”

YANKEES FIELDING LAST 10 YEARS

2020: .977 (15th in AL)

2019: .983 (9th in AL)

2018: .984 (T-9th in AL)

2017: .984 (T-7th in AL)

2016: .985 (T-6th in AL)

2015: .985 (T-6th in AL)

2014: .984 (T-7th in AL)

2013: .988 (3rd in AL)

2012: .987 (3rd AL)

2011: .983 (T-6th AL)

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:12AM #2
bumper
Posts: 7,989

gleyber, now up to 9 errors, has been a disaster at SS. interestingly, even DJLM has had a rough year in the field w a .970 - way below his career mark of .990. the pitchers have been terrible as well. is it laziness, lack of focus or just trying to do too much?


on the other hand, judge & urshela are near gold glovers. gio finally made his 1st error of the season last nite but only after a couple gems. and frazier has actually become a good OF'er.


1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:21AM #3
chl45
Posts: 2,488

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:12AM, bumper wrote:


gleyber, now up to 9 errors, has been a disaster at SS. interestingly, even DJLM has had a rough year in the field w a .970 - way below his career mark of .990. the pitchers have been terrible as well. is it laziness, lack of focus or just trying to do too much?


on the other hand, judge & urshela are near gold glovers. gio finally made his 1st error of the season last nite but only after a couple gems. and frazier has actually become a good OF'er.





Bumper take the time to read the above article it answers a lot of questions on the defense and some of trhe Yankees other woes IMO.

you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:35AM #4
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 80,628

Wow, that article makes a point ... don't know if it's true ... but if it is, we got a problem.

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:41AM #5
SSBob
Posts: 6,197

No matter how often it was said here that SS is his "natural" position, Gleyber will never be an upper tier SS. Yeah...he played mostly SS, I'm sure from the time he started playing ball thru the minors...just like virtually every ML 2B. He has limited range with a cannon arm, which screams 3B, but of course Gio has that position nailed down as he obviously should. He's in the same class as Arenado & Matt Chapman.


As for DJL...he's made 3 errors at 2B this year. Fielding percentage, just like BA & ERA, can be skewed over a short period of time like this season, and is not really an accurate gauge of defensive proficiency. Admittedly I haven't watched every inning of every game, but I haven't seen him make any glaring errors on routine plays.

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:53AM #6
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 80,628

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:41AM, SSBob wrote:


No matter how often it was said here that SS is his "natural" position, Gleyber will never be an upper tier SS. Yeah...he played mostly SS, I'm sure from the time he started playing ball thru the minors...just like virtually every ML 2B. He has limited range with a cannon arm, which screams 3B, but of course Gio has that position nailed down as he obviously should. He's in the same class as Arenado & Matt Chapman.


As for DJL...he's made 3 errors at 2B this year. Fielding percentage, just like BA & ERA, can be skewed over a short period of time like this season, and is not really an accurate gauge of defensive proficiency. Admittedly I haven't watched every inning of every game, but I haven't seen him make any glaring errors on routine plays.




The test of Gleyber at short needs to come to an end ... don't know how they will work it out ... but he's not a shortstop.

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:55AM #7
chl45
Posts: 2,488

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:41AM, SSBob wrote:


No matter how often it was said here that SS is his "natural" position, Gleyber will never be an upper tier SS. Yeah...he played mostly SS, I'm sure from the time he started playing ball thru the minors...just like virtually every ML 2B. He has limited range with a cannon arm, which screams 3B, but of course Gio has that position nailed down as he obviously should. He's in the same class as Arenado & Matt Chapman.


As for DJL...he's made 3 errors at 2B this year. Fielding percentage, just like BA & ERA, can be skewed over a short period of time like this season, and is not really an accurate gauge of defensive proficiency. Admittedly I haven't watched every inning of every game, but I haven't seen him make any glaring errors on routine plays.




The article on analytics  posted on its own thread recently on here answers a lot of questions. If you get a chance read it. See what you think of it. I also think that the Yankees need to look at their player development department. The reason I say that is because some players can adjust their defensive skills to a few infield or outfield positions and some can't. The shift is another big reason for some guys who are not as athletic as others to be out of position and be able to make some plays liuke they would from a usual placement of their position before shifting moves them. Just something I have noticed with a lot of the infielders especially. Not everyone is like DJ. Torres even at 2nd is not as fluid and smooth as some infielders. Not everyone can dance so I don't understand it because according to an interview by Meridith that was done with some of Gleybers team mates, he is a great dancer! Oh yeah, and dresser. lol..

you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 11:05AM #8
SSBob
Posts: 6,197

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:53AM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:41AM, SSBob wrote:


No matter how often it was said here that SS is his "natural" position, Gleyber will never be an upper tier SS. Yeah...he played mostly SS, I'm sure from the time he started playing ball thru the minors...just like virtually every ML 2B. He has limited range with a cannon arm, which screams 3B, but of course Gio has that position nailed down as he obviously should. He's in the same class as Arenado & Matt Chapman.


As for DJL...he's made 3 errors at 2B this year. Fielding percentage, just like BA & ERA, can be skewed over a short period of time like this season, and is not really an accurate gauge of defensive proficiency. Admittedly I haven't watched every inning of every game, but I haven't seen him make any glaring errors on routine plays.




The test of Gleyber at short needs to come to an end ... don't know how they will work it out ... but he's not a shortstop.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The problem, ironically, is there's nowhere to move him, now that Voit has emerged as an everyday 1B. If not for that they could move Gleyber back to 2B and slide DJL over to 1B.


It wasn't that long ago that the Yanks were desperate for a 1B, when they were trying Tyler Austin, Rob Refsnyder, etc. and even Chris Carter there. Of course Greg Bird was expected to fill that slot before injuries derailed him.


1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 11:08AM #9
SSBob
Posts: 6,197

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:55AM, chl45 wrote:


Torres even at 2nd is not as fluid and smooth as some infielders. 




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


He's not "fluid" at either 2B or SS...his "best" position is probably 3B, which ain't happening.


Correct me if I'm wrong....as I recall, you were at the forefront of shouting about SS being Gleyber's "natural" position. 

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 11:12AM #10
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 80,628

Sep 26, 2020 -- 11:05AM, SSBob wrote:


Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:53AM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:41AM, SSBob wrote:


No matter how often it was said here that SS is his "natural" position, Gleyber will never be an upper tier SS. Yeah...he played mostly SS, I'm sure from the time he started playing ball thru the minors...just like virtually every ML 2B. He has limited range with a cannon arm, which screams 3B, but of course Gio has that position nailed down as he obviously should. He's in the same class as Arenado & Matt Chapman.


As for DJL...he's made 3 errors at 2B this year. Fielding percentage, just like BA & ERA, can be skewed over a short period of time like this season, and is not really an accurate gauge of defensive proficiency. Admittedly I haven't watched every inning of every game, but I haven't seen him make any glaring errors on routine plays.




The test of Gleyber at short needs to come to an end ... don't know how they will work it out ... but he's not a shortstop.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The problem, ironically, is there's nowhere to move him, now that Voit has emerged as an everyday 1B. If not for that they could move Gleyber back to 2B and slide DJL over to 1B.


It wasn't that long ago that the Yanks were desperate for a 1B, when they were trying Tyler Austin, Rob Refsnyder, etc. and even Chris Carter there. Of course Greg Bird was expected to fill that slot before injuries derailed him.





Then they need to ask A-Rod to work with him at short ... in his prime A-Rod was a fantastic shortstop.

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