Originally Posted by kpresidente
OK, lets start all over again...and lets start with the offense since those numbers are less guesswork.
Fontenot vs. RHP
.298|.379|.473 - 6.92 RC/27
Keppinger vs. LHP
.351|.403|.515 - 8.65 RC/27
Platoon (figuring Fontenot gets 2/3 of the ABs) = 183 RC in 660 ABs.
.290|.369|.422 - 4.76 RC/27 = 116 RC in 660 ABs
Difference = +67 for the Fontenot/Kepp platoon.
BTW - I used this site http://www.tangotiger.net/markov.html to calculate RC/27 and I used the Bill James method.
So the Fontenot/Keppinger platoon would have to give up 67 more runs in the field than the average SS to break even.
Now for the defense...
The 32 runs/game is not generous. If anything, it's high. Like I said, total chances overstates the run value because it counts assisted plays twice. A groundball to the SS = 1 assist for the SS and 1 PO for the 1B, which = 2 TC and only 1 real out. INOW - suppose there are 7 Ks in a game; that leaves 20 outs in the field. However, that same game might have 30 TCs because 10 of those a assisted plays. So that method is flawed.
What we should do is just use assists alone for a middle-infielder. The reasoning is that a great infielder probably won't make many more POs than an average one. Anybody can tag second base or catch an infield fly. However, he will make a lot more assists. Then subtract errors.
The problem is, again, I don't know the averages for a SS or a 2B. FWIW, Fontenot averages 2.71 assists/27 @ 2B and Keppinger 2.62 assists/27 @ SS. The average assists for a SS and a 2B tend to be about the same league-wide. Assuming that 4th out = 1/2 run (your assumption), the average SS would have to average roughly 3.5 assists/game to make up the difference in runs that Font/Kepp give you at the plate. The league leader in assists (Orlando Cabrera) only averaged 3.05.
So, even using the defensive league leader
, the Kepp/Font platoon still comes out on top by 31 runs
. Even if you assume Fontenot can't play SS as well as 2B, that's more than made up for by the fact that I'm comparing him against the league leading SS, as opposed to the average.
First, I apologize for getting the platoon stats wrong, I just read it wrong.
Second, if you don't understand that the outs and runs that a defensive player is responsible for, is far greater than just his own assists, then you simply do not understand how the game is played. I am not tying to get personal, but there is no other way for me to put it.
Please address the points that I have made twice now (and will make for a third time). If you do not, there is no point in continuing this discussion.
SS is the most important defensive position on the field. It's importance can not be measured by any fielding stat, or any compilation of stats. Having a solid fielding SS results not just in less errors, or more plays made, it leads to less pitches being thrown by the pitchers, having a starter go deeper into games, using the bullpen less, letting pitchers have confidence in allowing the batter to make contact, less AB's for the opposing lineup which means that the best hitters hit less often, less stress on the rest of the defense, and so much more.
If you want a good example of how important a good defensive SS is, just look at the Rays. They gave up 209 less runs this year than they did last year. A lot of that was better relief pitching and the addition of Garza. But it also was because they got Jason Bartlett to replace Brandan Harris at SS. There is no stat that can show the difference he made, but the entire Rays pitching staff said that Bartlett was the teams MVP because he gave them confidence to let the opposing hitters make contact, and made their job much easier.
Another good example is Kepp himself. In limited action, Kepp put up halfway decent numbers defensively in 07, which let many Reds fans believe that he could play SS for a full season. Well in 08, he proved that he could not. His defense was horrible, and anyone who watched Reds games could tell you that. The Reds horrible defense last year, especially Kepp's was one of the biggest reasons why they lost so many games.
Seriously, if you do not think that defense matters at SS matters more than the offense he creates, then you do not understand how baseball is played.