Andriesen Marries UZR
Dave Andriesen writes a piece about the Mariners outfield defense and… well, just read it.
Gutierrez played 134 games last season for Cleveland, the highest total of his career. And according to a statistic called ultimate zone rating (UZR), meant to place a hard value on a player’s defense, Gutierrez was the second-most valuable outfielder in baseball.
UZR uses a variety of factors to determine the number of runs, compared with the average player at his position, a player theoretically saved his team. Gutierrez had a UZR of 21.7. That would mean Gutierrez personally cost Indians opponents about a run a week more than an average fielder would.
To put it in simpler terms, the guy knows what he’s doing out there.
And even if the loss of Raul Ibanez creates a challenge on offense, better outfield defense can make up for it. The Mariners last season had a team outfield UZR of minus-16.8, meaning they surrendered that many extra runs because of below-average defensive ability. The league-leading Rays, meanwhile, had a UZR of 47.1. That’s a spread of almost 64 runs saved, which is just as valuable on the scoreboard as 64 runs created.
“That’s what we talked about during the winter — can we get better defensively?” Wakamatsu said. “Knowing that we lost somebody like Raul, can we gain some leverage on (the defensive) side of it?
Hooray for Dave Andriesen.