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Sabermetric Fielding: 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted by Neil Paine on May 11, 2010

(Note: All of the data in this post was obtained from the new Baseball-Reference Fielding Stats.)

A month and a half into the 2010 season, the L.A. Dodgers' defense has been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball. Among NL teams, they current rank a distant last in both Fielding +/- and TotalZone Runs Above Average, and they're quite a bit below average in Defensive Efficiency as well:

Tm #Fld DefEff G Inn Rtot Rdrs
SDP 30 .720 31 2550.0 14 25
COL 30 .695 32 2595.0 -4 22
STL 28 .711 32 2625.0 11 21
ARI 31 .676 33 2628.0 -5 18
PHI 29 .694 32 2574.0 4 16
SFG 28 .728 30 2478.0 14 14
CIN 28 .676 32 2595.0 -8 13
WSN 32 .695 32 2595.0 1 11
HOU 29 .663 31 2484.0 -11 3
NYM 30 .691 32 2649.0 6 3
ATL 28 .696 32 2499.0 3 1
FLA 30 .680 32 2583.0 1 0
PIT 31 .668 32 2547.0 -21 -10
CHC 28 .670 33 2583.0 -12 -11
MIL 26 .662 32 2568.0 -14 -14
LAD 32 .673 32 2571.0 -31 -21
470 .687 510 41124.0 -53
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/11/2010.

This a major departure from L.A.'s 2009 effort -- last year, the Dodgers led the NL in Defensive Efficiency and were well above average in both Fielding +/- and TotalZone:

Tm #Fld DefEff G Inn Rtot Rdrs
CIN 45 .704 162 13125.0 53 52
ARI 45 .683 162 13029.0 8 34
SFG 44 .706 162 13014.0 60 34
PIT 49 .690 161 12765.0 -24 31
STL 42 .694 162 12966.0 36 31
LAD 46 .713 162 13260.0 17 30
NYM 51 .693 162 12834.0 -20 20
PHI 41 .693 162 13101.0 2 16
CHC 45 .698 161 13008.0 5 16
COL 45 .688 162 12945.0 -9 12
ATL 45 .686 162 13164.0 28 8
WSN 55 .683 162 12819.0 -34 7
SDP 54 .692 162 13056.0 -47 -1
HOU 42 .677 162 12870.0 -52 -2
MIL 45 .689 162 12915.0 -5 -22
FLA 44 .686 162 13017.0 0 -28
704 .692 2590 207888.0 18
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/11/2010.

What changed for this year's version of the Dodger D? Let's look at the contributions they've received from their primary players at each position this year vs. last year (bold columns indicate runs saved above/below average from TotalZone and Defensive +/- Runs Saved):

Catcher Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rctch Rdrs Rdrs/yr RsbC RerC CS%
Russell Martin 2010 27 28 27 242.2 -1 -4 -1 -2 -10 0 -2 30%
Russell Martin 2009 26 137 133 1201.0 -6 -6 -6 5 5 1 4 31%
First Base Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rdp Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rbnt
James Loney 2010 26 32 31 271.2 0 0 0 0 -1 -4 -1 0
James Loney 2009 25 155 147 1341.0 7 6 6 1 3 3 3 0
Second Base Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rdp Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rdp
Blake DeWitt 2010 24 26 25 205.2 -5 -31 -4 -1 -1 -6 0 -1
Orlando Hudson 2009 31 145 143 1272.1 4 3 4 -1 4 4 6 -2
Third Base Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rdp Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rbnt
Casey Blake 2010 36 27 26 237.2 -2 -9 -2 -2 -10 -2 0
Casey Blake 2009 35 134 131 1161.0 18 19 18 1 8 8 6 2
Shortstop Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rdp Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rdp
Rafael Furcal 2010 32 18 18 161.2 -1 -6 0 -1 4 30 4 0
Jamey Carroll 2010 36 14 14 122.0 0 -4 0 0 -3 -30 -2 -1
Rafael Furcal 2009 31 149 141 1282.1 3 3 3 0 7 7 6 1
Left Field Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rof Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rof
Manny Ramirez 2010 38 14 14 108.1 -3 -29 -1 -1 -4 -44 -3 -1
Reed Johnson 2010 33 16 7 79.1 0 3 -1 1 1 15 0 1
Xavier Paul 2010 25 7 6 55.0 -4 -79 -3 -1 -2 -44 -2 0
Garret Anderson 2010 38 6 5 43.0 -2 -56 -2 0 1 28 1 0
Manny Ramirez 2009 37 101 99 812.0 -7 -11 -4 -3 -8 -12 -4 -4
Juan Pierre 2009 31 94 63 653.1 4 8 5 -1 3 6 4 -1
Center Field Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rof Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rof
Matt Kemp 2010 25 32 32 283.0 -6 -25 -3 -3 -13 -55 -11 -2
Matt Kemp 2009 24 158 148 1355.1 5 4 -1 6 2 2 -7 9
Right Field Year Age G GS Inn Rtot Rtot/yr Rtz Rof Rdrs Rdrs/yr Rpm Rof
Andre Ethier 2010 28 27 27 235.1 -7 -36 -8 0 -5 -25 -6 1
Andre Ethier 2009 27 158 150 1365.1 -4 -3 -3 -1 -2 -2 -1 -1

It would be easy to point to the loss of 2B Orlando Hudson as the chief reason for the Dodgers' 2010 defensive decline, but the truth is that almost all of the holdovers from 2009 have slipped as well. +/- estimates that Casey Blake is already 10 runs worse than he was in '09, Russell Martin is 7 runs worse, and Matt Kemp is a full 15 runs below his '09 output. Throw in Blake DeWitt's 5 runs below Hudson's '09, and a variety of other small declines, and it's not hard to see why the Dodgers have fallen so far on defense. The only positive? Their pitchers are +7 runs above average on defense, after finishing with 0 in 2009.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 12:17 pm and is filed under Fielding Stats, Sabermetrics, Site Features, Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Sabermetric Fielding: 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Total Zone currently shows the major leagues as a whole are 8 runs below average (AL is +45, compared to the -53 for the NL shown above). Maybe that's just a bunch of rounding errors adding up, but it doesn't look right. By definition, the total HAS to be 0. That discrepancy won't help convert the many people who have no faith in modern defensive stats.

  2. And yet, despite its flaws, it's still more useful that fielding percentage and "watching with your eyes".

  3. how did u make that chart comparing the 2 seasons? simply by a bunch of copy/pastes?

  4. Another factor could be LF. With Ramirez suspended 50 games last year. They got to have pierre out there. Now that hurt offensively, but Manny is scary (in a bad way) out there in LF.

  5. [...] Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive » Sabermetric Fielding: 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers [...]

  6. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #3 (Cubbies), yes, I just copied and pasted from the two yearly team fielding pages. I could have used the SHARE function on each table, but I was in a hurry. If I had used SHARE, the table would definitely look nicer.

    As far as LF, I agree that Pierre was really good for them in '09. However, Manny has missed games this year as well, and he was just as bad last year as he's been this year... The big difference is in Manny's replacements -- like you said, Pierre was a good defender (+3 by +/-, +4 by TotalZone) in Manny's stead last year, but this year his understudies have been Reed Johnson, Xavier Paul, and Garret Anderson, who have been somewhere between average (+0 by +/-) and really bad (-6 TotalZone). So that's another factor you can point to for why the Dodgers are so much worse defensively this year than in '09.

  7. [...] reduction in the quality of play has been plain to see. Now, our bad defense has been quantified by Baseball-Reference. Check it out. It’s not only Blake DeWitt’s or Matt Kemp’s [...]

  8. [...] Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive » Sabermetric Fielding … [...]

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