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View Full Version : Griffey and Defense (or lack thereof)



11BarryLarkin11
02-26-2006, 12:33 AM
I just got "The Fielding Bible" by John Dewan and it includes some very interesting defensive metrics.

I'll share one in particular, which I think illustrates the problem with having Griffey in centerfield.

The stat is based on ball in play data, so the actual results from balls in play. It compares how many hits the Reds got with how many they gave up for each "zone" on the field.

Here is how badly the Reds were outperformed in 2005. Each zone for centerfield is listed with the number of hits given up followed the number of hits earned by the Reds for each zone.

**Hits in front of the center fielder: 95 to 64
(In english: The Reds gave up 95 hits in front of the center fielder and got 64 hits in front of the opposing centerfielder).
**Hits in the left field gap: 179 to 137
**Hits in the right field gap: 162 to 137
**Hits over the center fielder: 34 to 20

In other words, Griffey's range is not what it used to be. He is giving up more hits over his head and letting more hits fall in front of him than the opposition. By a wide margin. Of course, the gaps involve our corner outfielders as well, but we didn't fare well there either.

All in all, the defense needs to be restructured so we can catch some of these balls and help out the pitching staff.

The Reds are a beer league softball team. And, we can't pound teams into submission. We have to improve both the defense and pitching to move up in the standings.

KYRedsFan
02-26-2006, 12:38 AM
Our pitching staff throwing BP, and our strikeout-prone lineup I would have to feel certainly alter these stats. Gonna have to check that, but I wouldn't say these necessarily are a totally cause and effect relation here.

11BarryLarkin11
02-26-2006, 12:45 AM
Our pitching staff throwing BP, and our strikeout-prone lineup I would have to feel certainly alter these stats. Gonna have to check that, but I wouldn't say these necessarily are a totally cause and effect relation here.

True, there are other elements. Griffey was also hurt and didn't play centerfield for the entire season. But, there is also a breakdown of Griffey's individual defensive play, which I didn't post, but which matches up directly with the team's inept centerfield performance. He just isn't good out there anymore and he's hurting the team.

According to Dewan's measures, Griffey rates in the bottom three centerfielders over the past three seasons. Time to shift him to left.

The better the defensive metrics get, the worse Griffey's defense looks.

RedsMan3203
02-26-2006, 01:09 AM
I'm sure Kearns can play Center... But does he have anymore Range then JR?

We all know Pena cannot play Center even thou he probably has the best range of JR or Kearns. Pena has enough problems in Left/Right Field let alone Center.

I still think our best option, is JR.

Aronchis
02-26-2006, 01:17 AM
I'm sure Kearns can play Center... But does he have anymore Range then JR?

We all know Pena cannot play Center even thou he probably has the best range of JR or Kearns. Pena has enough problems in Left/Right Field let alone Center.

I still think our best option, is JR.

Are you kidding me? Pena's best position is center.

bianchiveloce
02-26-2006, 01:50 AM
Better fielding goes hand-in-hand with more pitchers who lean towards more ground balls than fly balls. Average fielding with groundball type pitchers will not get the job done in relation to limiting the number of runs we give up. We must have great fielding up the middle (C, SS, 2B, and CF) to complement any improvements in the pitching department.

I'll have to check out Dewan's "The Fielding Bible." Thanks for posting about it, 11BarryLarkin11.

Nugget
02-26-2006, 02:04 AM
Are you kidding me? Pena's best position is center.

Pena's best position is as far away from the ball as possible.

fourrunhomer
02-26-2006, 09:48 AM
I have never seen anything that to me suggests that Griffey's defense is anything but good. Yes, there is no doubt that he has lost a step, maybe two, but he still gets a good break on the ball. I saw him make some spectacular plays last year that I thought there was no way would be caught. He also still has a decent arm and throws the ball where he is supposed to. Do you think that the differential of balls dropping in and going over head could have something to do with our pitchers getting hit so hard.
Line drives dropping just over second are not going to be caught by anyone.
And every one knows the propensity of our staff to get hit hard deep. I would be willing to guess that a lot of the balls to the wall that were not caught were hit by batters who should not have hit the ball farther than midway deep and Griffey was postioned where he should have been but got burned by pitch to extreme contact empoyeed by the staff last year.

4256 Hits
02-26-2006, 12:36 PM
Are you kidding me? Pena's best position is center.

Exactly, the Reds outfield should be Pena in CF, Griffey in LF, Kearns in RF.

Pena reads the ball so much better in CF than he does in the corners.

M2
02-26-2006, 12:37 PM
Jr. is hands down the worst regular CF in baseball. Great form does not overcome horrible range. It's not that he's just deficient in one defensive metric, he's deficient in EVERY defensive metric. The Reds are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball and he's the most egregious offender.

dougdirt
02-26-2006, 01:16 PM
M2, you have to be kidding me. Griffey is a worse outfielder than Pena? Lay down the beer, come back in about 12 hours when you are sober. Pena is lost in the outfield, has a rocket for an arm, but throws it like he has his eyes closed. Griffey still has a good arm, and while he doesnt have the speed that Pena does, but he can catch a routine ball, take good routes to it and hit a cutoff man or even throw with accuracy.

westofyou
02-26-2006, 01:31 PM
M2, you have to be kidding me. Griffey is a worse outfielder than Pena? Lay down the beer, come back in about 12 hours when you are sober.

Oh please for someone so sure of yourself you've certainly been on the wrong side of most of the debates here the past month from my POV.

As for Griffeys's range etc... we touched on the age issue for CF's earlier this offseason.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40691

dougdirt
02-26-2006, 01:34 PM
I dont care about Griffeys range as much as a I Pena not being able to catch a simple fly ball. To say Griffey is a worse outfielder than Pena is ridiculous.

Oh, and I could care less what you think about my stands on things are. Its pretty simple. I think you are wrong. You dont care either, right? Glad we got that straightened out.

westofyou
02-26-2006, 02:14 PM
Its pretty simple.

Well, you are right about that.

dougdirt
02-26-2006, 02:17 PM
So WOY, Wily Mo Pena is a better defensive player than Ken Griffey Jr?

westofyou
02-26-2006, 02:22 PM
So WOY, Wily Mo Pena is a better defensive player than Ken Griffey Jr?
No not really, but he'll get to more balls.

But Ken Griffey Jr. is too old to play CF for a winning team, that automatically makes him the starter for the Reds eh?

dougdirt
02-26-2006, 02:26 PM
No not really, but he'll get to more balls.

But Ken Griffey Jr. is too old to play CF for a winning team, that automatically makes him the starter for the Reds eh?

Ok, that I can agree to. I thought you were saying that Griffey was worse than Pena. I dont know if Griffey is too old to play for a winning team, I mean Bernie Williams did play for the Yankees last year....but I get the point you are trying to make. The problem is, Griffey is Griffey and he is going to play center. Pena has more speed than Kearns does, but nowhere near the glove that he does. Kearns is to slow to play center. Although the slimmed down Kearns in ST this year, may not be but I cant say as I havent really seen him run yet. Denorfia has the speed to play center, and probably is the best CF the team has. Freel is probably second. But with Griffey being who he is, he is going to be playing center, even though he shouldnt be in most cases.

RedsManRick
02-26-2006, 03:47 PM
Range is such an underrated part of OF defense. If a guy gets to 30 more balls over the course of a season, but has 10 more errors, he's still doing more to help prevent runs than the other guy. It's just like strikeouts. Errors hurt feelings. People don't gets as upset about non events as they do about specific events gone wrong, even if in the long run the non events are more hurtful.

I don't know if the defensive allignment would truly be better with Kearns/Pena in CF, but that it's not even being looked at is sad. I don't care if Junior catches every ball he gets to. If balls are going over his head, dropping in front of him, or scooting past him in the alleys because his range is now horrible, then we are hurting ourselves.

The ONLY reason I can think of to justify a subpar defenive allignment is that a change would significantly hurt the offense via either increased injuries or struggles due to a lack of focus b/c of position change.

11BarryLarkin11
02-26-2006, 04:44 PM
Jr. is hands down the worst regular CF in baseball. Great form does not overcome horrible range. It's not that he's just deficient in one defensive metric, he's deficient in EVERY defensive metric. The Reds are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball and he's the most egregious offender.

I couldn't have put it better myself. Nicely done.

dougdirt
02-26-2006, 04:46 PM
Range is such an underrated part of OF defense. If a guy gets to 30 more balls over the course of a season, but has 10 more errors,he's still doing more to help prevent runs than the other guy. It's just like strikeouts. Errors hurt feelings. People don't gets as upset about non events as they do about specific events gone wrong, even if in the long run the non events are more hurtful.

I don't know if the defensive allignment would truly be better with Kearns/Pena in CF, but that it's not even being looked at is sad. I don't care if Junior catches every ball he gets to. If balls are going over his head, dropping in front of him, or scooting past him in the alleys because his range is now horrible, then we are hurting ourselves.

The ONLY reason I can think of to justify a subpar defenive allignment is that a change would significantly hurt the offense via either increased injuries or struggles due to a lack of focus b/c of position change.

I can agree with that to a point. Pena will get to more balls than Griffey will. He will make more errors also. Both you stated. Will Pena hit cutoff men? Will Pena have remotely accurate throws? That is what concerns me almost as much as his errors.