Originally Posted by 757690
I think it is a very logical argument to say that if you do not understand the importance of defense, than you do not understand how the game is played.
Good because I'm the one in this conversation who understands the importance of defense. As in, it's the least important of the three of offense, pitching, and defense.
First of all, I find it hard to believe that a catcher would think that not hitting the cut off man is not significant.
What I meant is that you can get an assist on a cut-off throw.
Second, you still have not addressed my point of how bad defense leads to so many other bad things that I have listed in every post. Please address this. I will keep asking you until you do.
It's just a statement. You haven't quantified it so it's mostly meaningless. For instance, I have no doubt that pitchers will feel more comfortable with a slick-fielding SS. That doesn't say anything about how much it actually impacts their performance.
Name me one team that made the Playoffs in the last 5 years that had a bad defensive SS. And it is illogical to assert conclude from the statement, "A good SS is necessary for a team to contend" that the statement "All teams with good SS will contend."
How about 2008?
Boston - Julio Lugo
Mets - Jose Reyes
Yankees - Derek Jeter
So the problem isn't the logic, it's the facts. A good SS is NOT necessary to contend. The fact that most contending teams have a good SS doesn't mean it follows logically that a good SS is necessary, either. Contending teams would be expected to excel in most areas of the game.
Our starting pitching was actually pretty good, but it looked bad because of the horrible defense behind it. This is shown in the difference between their ERA's and xFIP.
Everyone except Volquez had a much worse xFIP than ERA. That means that the defense let them down. Volquez, being a strike out pitcher, was able to overcome the defense, by not letting them have to field many balls. Arroyo and Harang, who pitch to contact, were hurt the most (outside the three who did not pitch a lot of innings), because they relied on the defense to make most of their outs.
1. xFIP is a dubious stat, in that it significantly undervalues the extremes. In other words, a horrible pitcher will be better represented in his xFIP than he actually pitched. It's good for identifying pitchers who pitched in front of bad defenses (I've never denied that), but shouldn't be used to quantify that effect. Notice how according to xFIP, Belise was significantly better than Cueto, which is ridiculous. Nobody believes that. Our 5th starters were much worse than represented here....
Harang - 4.39
Arroyo - 4.34
Volquez - 4.02
Cueto - 4.62
Fogg - 5.60
Belisle - 4.31
Bailey - 5.34
Once you understand that Fogg, Belise, Bailey and probably Harang pitched significantly worse than their xFIP is showing, you realize that yes, things were quite bad. When the league-average ERA is 4.29 and you have 1 guy out of 5 top that, you can't say we were "pretty good."
Our top 4 starters are showing just below league average, and our 5th starters were horrible. Keep in mind, we were only 8 wins under .500, so our record correlates quite nicely with those figures, without having to bring defense in at all (especially when you note that we were a poor offensive team as well.)
2. All that you've done is shown that we had a bad defense, and that it affected out pitching negatively. I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing whether bad defense at one position outweighs adding a nearly .900 OPS to the line-up, and I think I've clearly shown that it does not.
3. Some of the biggest problems with our defense are already solved. Catcher, CF, LF, and RF should all be much better next year. This means we can get away with below average SS and the defense will still be improved.
Lastly, I'm not going to let you push me into a more extreme position than the one I've taken, either. Note this from my initial post about Fontenot...
That platoon might also work at 3B, although Fontenot hasn't seen much time there. Or you could put the pair at 2B and move Phillips. Several options there.
Note that I am aware of the defensive liability I'd be leaving and offered several other options to alleviate it. My idea would be to move Phillips, but I didn't say that because I didn't want to open up a conversation that's been rehashed about a million times. I expected that reasonable readers would run with that suggestion anyway.
My point was to bring his name into the conversation, because he's a perfect platoon partner for Keppinger, and the pair would give a ton of offense that warrants finding a spot in the field. You work out the defense afterward, because the flexibility to make it work is there.