Tag Archives: defense

My name is Cesar Izturis and I’m slugging .244

How amazing would Izturis’s defense have to be to make up for his hitting this season?  Like, let’s say he was so good that he could play both shortstop and third base and the Orioles could stick four guys in the outfield.  Would that make him an average player overall?

In other weak hitting news, CJ and I went to the Mallards today to see the home team beaten 2-1 by the Waterloo Bucks.  Bad:  intermittent rain.  Good:  surprisingly tasty grilled cheese sandwich from Maynard’s Slide-In Grill.

Orioles 35th round draft pick Jeremy Lucas went 0 for 3 and is now batting .182 on the year.  Watching amateur baseball makes you feel like hitting is a lot harder than defense, actually.  The Bucks, after 12 games, have yet to hit a home run.  The Mallards now have 4.  These guys can make a diving catch, they can stop a line drive, they can turn the double play.  But they can’t seem to make solid contact with a pitched ball, except by chance.    If you want a vision of the Northwoods League, imagine a foul ball smacking into the backstop — forever.

CJ pitched against the radar gun in the kids’ zone and was clocked at 10mph.  I ballooned with pride.  Double digits, kid.

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Deeeefense

One theory of the 2009 Orioles was that the fleet legs and sure hands of Adam Jones, Felix Pie, and Cesar Izturis would make our questionable pitching look better than it was.  As in last night’s 5-4 victory over Minnesota, in the course of which Jones, Nick Markakis, and even Lou Montañez made spectacular catches on some of the many, many hard-hit balls off Brad Bergesen, just enough to keep the Twins from breaking an inning open.

But in fact, the Orioles are leading the AL in unearned runs allowed and errors, and are second-to-last in double plays.  (Bad statistics watch:  you can get a lot of errors if your outfielders are fast enough to boot balls that other teams would just let drop.  And team DP is strongly affected by the propensity of your pitching staff to induce ground balls.  Still, baseball-reference also ranks us last in “defensive efficiency,” which is supposed to be an estimate of outs made per ball in play.)

There’s no easy fix for this team, and no real way forward except to put guys on the field and see what happens.  Tom is right:  play Felix Pie.


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