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June 18, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Fielding Penalty?


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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