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Articles Tagged Defense 

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05-11

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Even Slightly More Convincing Argument Against the Shift
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-03

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10

Baseball Therapy: The Pretty Good Case That the Shift Doesn't Work
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-03

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0

Rubbing Mud: Stop What You're Doing And Consider The Cubs' Incredible Defense
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-29

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20

Fifth Column: The Shift: I Am Girardicus
by
Michael Baumann

02-09

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Crack in the Defensive Spectrum
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-04

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5

Ducks on the Pond: The Kiermaier Can
by
Chris Mosch

09-23

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21

Baseball Therapy: Will Statcast Cure Our Defensive Metric Blues?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-23

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0

What You Need to Know: September 23, 2014
by
Daniel Rathman

08-28

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12

Moonshot: On Regressing Defense
by
Robert Arthur

07-21

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0

The Weekend Shift
by
Chris Mosch

07-11

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1

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of June
by
Sam Miller

07-11

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0

BP Unfiltered: Cat-and-Mouse with Kevin Kiermaier
by
Chris Mosch

07-08

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9

Notes About Baseball, 7/8
by
Rocco DeMaro

07-02

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2

Overthinking It: June in Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-04

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2

Overthinking It: May in Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-02

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11

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of May
by
Sam Miller

05-23

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1

BP Unfiltered: This Week in Bunting to Beat the Shift, 5/23
by
Ben Lindbergh and Chris Mosch

05-19

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6

Overthinking It: The Way in Which the A's Are Still Old-School
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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3

BP Unfiltered: This Week in Bunting to Beat the Shift, 5/16
by
Ben Lindbergh and Chris Mosch

05-07

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13

Overthinking It: Catcher Framing: The Season So Far
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-02

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11

Pebble Hunting: The Best Defensive Game of April
by
Sam Miller

03-31

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4

Framing the Future
by
Harry Pavlidis

03-03

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47

Framing and Blocking Pitches: A Regressed, Probabilistic Model
by
Harry Pavlidis and Dan Brooks

11-26

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37

Pebble Hunting: Extrapolating the Breakdown of Traditional Defense
by
Sam Miller

11-25

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38

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-22

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 335: Your Questions, Our Answers
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

10-25

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6

Skewed Left: Shane Victorino and the Hunt for the Elusive 9-3 Putout
by
Zachary Levine

09-16

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2

BP Unfiltered: Carlos Gomez Hates Homers, and Other 2013 Exploits in Individual Defense
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-11

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3

Transaction Analysis: The Anti-Jeter Joins Jeter
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-21

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14

Pebble Hunting: Appreciating Andrelton Simmons
by
Sam Miller

08-07

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21

The Stats Go Marching In: Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Left-Handed Catchers?
by
Max Marchi

07-15

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12

Baseball Therapy: I Thought He Was Gonna Get It
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-03

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 237: Stats That Won't Last/No-Hitters and No-Walkers/The Worst Shortstop Ever/A Pitcher Who Can Hit/The All-Bunting Team/Trading Top Prospects for Trout/Pint-Sized Power Hitters
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-27

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 233: Munenori Kawasaki and Clubhouse Chemistry/The Tigers, Strikeouts, and Defense
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-25

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5

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Defensive Brilliance of Brendan Ryan
by
Ryan Divish

06-18

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4

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Fielding Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-13

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3

The Stats Go Marching In: Measuring Catcher Framing in the Minor Leagues
by
Max Marchi

06-05

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 217: Umpires, Catchers, and Home Field Advantage/Forming a Wall/The Anti-DH Movement/Lengthening Games
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-01

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Russell Martin and Ryan Hanigan
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-24

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5

BP Unfiltered: Chris Stewart and Miguel Montero on Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-23

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3

BP Unfiltered: An AL Scout on Evaluating Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-22

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1

BP Unfiltered: Kevin Towers on Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-21

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7

BP Unfiltered: Former MLB Umpire Jim McKean on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-21

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12

Skewed Left: The Shift's PR Problem
by
Zachary Levine

05-20

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1

BP Unfiltered: Brandon McCarthy on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-20

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0

Prospectus Q&A: The College of Coaches on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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18

The Stats Go Marching In: Catcher Framing Before PITCHf/x
by
Max Marchi

05-14

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51

Manufactured Runs: Listen to What the Heyman Said
by
Colin Wyers

04-25

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 189: Should Chad Billingsley Have Had Surgery Sooner?/Brendan Ryan, Robert Andino, and the Mariners
by
Ben Lindbergh and Paul Sporer

04-24

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7

Overthinking It: Yadier Molina's Maybe-Amazing Powers of Defensive Positioning
by
Ben Lindbergh

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Are teams passing up an advantage by not telling their corner outfielders to trade places based on the batter?

On Friday’s episode of Effectively Wild, listener Matt Trueblood emailed the show to ask Ben and Sam a fascinating question. Why is it that teams do not have their left and right fielders switch places more often, particularly if one of them is a better fielder than the other? We know that some players like to pull the ball, while others like to hit to the opposite field. Why not put the better fielder in the place where it’s more likely that the ball will be hit? It’s a fascinating question because there is no rule that prohibits it from happening. In the era of the infield shift, why hasn’t anyone tried this?

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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about switching positions between batters, specialist scouts, risk-averse skippers, a team of top prospects, and more.

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What has to happen for a right fielder to throw out a runner at first?

According to his SABR bio, “Wild Bill” Johnson, the Tigers’ ace at the dawn of the last century, was described by sportswriters at the time as both a “slant ball pitcher” and “a giant (who) pitches, hits and fields equally well.” In his six postseason starts in 1907, 1908, and 1909, he had a 2.88 ERA but never did live up to that second portion.

The career .193 hitter went 0-for-16 in the postseason. He almost had a hit in Game 4 of the 1907 World Series, going up against Orval Overall—who was also in the news when Anibal Sanchez tied his previously unmatched record of four strikeouts in a postseason inning.

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Carlos Gomez is a prolific home run thief, but he might not be the only fielder having a special defensive season.

Carlos Gomez hates homers. Allowing them, that is. Gomez took a homer away from Jay Bruce on Sunday, which gave him five home run robberies on the season, according to Baseball Info Solutions. That's the most they've recorded for any fielder in a single season in the 10 years that they've been keeping track. I've collected all five here:

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September 11, 2013 9:17 am

Transaction Analysis: The Anti-Jeter Joins Jeter

3

Ben Lindbergh

With Derek Jeter day-to-day, the Yankees trade for opposite player Brendan Ryan.



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A close watching of five of the Braves shortstop's most impressive plays.

I basically believe in defensive metrics. I know there are a lot of people who don't, and that's fine; I don't necessarily have a good reason for believing in them, and maybe I'm just outsourcing the job of inadequately assessing defense to another person's brain, but I basically believe in them. So I know that Andrelton Simmons is spectacular defensively, somewhere between an all-time great shortstop (we have him at +19, and UZR has him at +21; he's got a reasonable chance of topping Ozzie Smith's best season by FRAA) and The All-Time Great Shortstop (Defensive runs saved has him there already, at +37). I believe in defensive metrics but I regress them heavily in my mind, so I doubt he's The All-Time Greatest, but I understand he's having a fantastic season. I understand it even though I can't really recall a single play he's made, and even though I've never really sat down and watched him exclusively for any length of time.

So today I'm going to watch him (and his highlights) exclusively, for a few hours, and make sure I can recall some plays he has made. These are not necessarily his best plays. Jeff Sullivan wrote about Simmons' defense the other day and showed "some of 2013 Simmons’ most impactful defensive plays, with regard to Defensive Runs Saved." In other words, the plays he made that the fewest number of other shortstops make. I'm not interested in such precision. For precision, I have the metrics. I'm interested in just watching.

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A new argument in favor of reviving a long-extinct species.

On July 9, 2013, Sir James Paul McCartney performed at Boston's Fenway Park on one leg of his Out There Tour, which has seen him rocking in an amphitheatre from 30 A.D. and coming under attack by thousands of grasshoppers. While he was at the oldest big league park, footage of him holding a baseball bat was taken, as you can see at the 0:44 mark of this video. Two things immediately appear to the attentive baseball fan: 1) the former Beatle features a Ty Cobb-like split hand grip and 2) he swings from the right side despite being a southpaw.

McCartney is not alone in the latter trait, Rickey Henderson and the elder George Bush being notable precedents. However, throwing from the portside while swinging from starboard is not advantageous, as you forfeit the frequent platoon advantage at the plate, plus the possibility of playing three infield positions.

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July 15, 2013 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: I Thought He Was Gonna Get It

12

Russell A. Carleton

Does a good fielder make the fielders around him better or worse?

Ozzie Smith is widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop (and somewhat by extension, the best defensive player) of his era. Anything that was hit into that no-man's land between second and third was gobbled up by the Wizard. In a game that adores offensive numbers, there was something so special about Ozzie's glovework that he ended up in the Hall of Fame despite a career .262/.337/.328 triple slash line.

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Ben and Sam answer the most listener emails they've ever answered.

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Ben and Sam talk about whether Kawasaki being sent to the minors tells us anything about chemistry, then discuss how much the Tigers' defense hurts them.

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A Mariners beat writer explains why Ryan is the most interesting Mariner he's covered.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Ryan Divish is in his seventh season of covering baseball and the Seattle Mariners for the Tacoma News Tribune. He played baseball collegiately at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota, where he was recruited as a second baseman and ate himself into the starting catching position. Even now, he’s still better defensively and much faster than Jesus Montero. He is a drinker of Crown Royal and Maker’s Mark and a reader of Steinbeck. You can read his writing at The News Tribune and the News Tribune’s Mariners Insider blog and follow his snarky blatherings on Twitter @RyanDivish.

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June 18, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Fielding Penalty?

4

Russell A. Carleton

Do substitute defenders perform worse in the field than starters?

I have a fascination with super-utility players, the guys who can play anywhere on the diamond. Players like Tony Phillips, Ben Zobrist, or even Denny Hocking. They're so handy to have around because a manager can fill out a lineup with a little more flexibility and know that he has someone to fill whatever hole is left. He's a wild card that gives a general manager more choices when putting together a roster. He's the type of player who adds a little extra value that the box score— and WARP—don't really capture.

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