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Thread: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

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    Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    As you all know, Choo's defense in CF is terrible and it is actually the worst(-14.3) among qualified MLB outfielders according to Fangraphs' UZR(Although I don't believe in defensive metrics personally). But Choo's defense has not been a problem at all during the season.

    I can't remember a single instance in which Choo's defense had a decisive effect on a game except for the one against Cards in early April or cost us a game.

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Well, it tells us there are hits falling in from time to time that top flight CFers would get to and turn into outs. It's not so much raw errors. But, weighing his bat against his defense as a complete player package I don't have a problem - he would be better in left, of course, but that ship sailed and now Ludwick is close.

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Well, it tells us there are hits falling in from time to time that top flight CFers would get to and turn into outs. It's not so much raw errors. But, weighing his bat against his defense as a complete player package I don't have a problem - he would be better in left, of course, but that ship sailed and now Ludwick is close.
    All I am simply saying is that the importance of defense in CF has been considerably inflated.
    Of course, it's important. But not as much as has been suggested.

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    You aren't giving it nearly enough weight. Think about it's value like you would batting average. Let's just say it is 1 hit a week that he doesn't get that a normal center fielder gets. That is 25 hits.

    25 hits over a full season is worth 42 points of average. Given that some of those hits are going to be for extra bases..... do you still think is "inflated"?

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    Moderator LexRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    It also may seem like a smaller issue since GABP isn't the most challenging of CF's.

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You aren't giving it nearly enough weight. Think about it's value like you would batting average. Let's just say it is 1 hit a week that he doesn't get that a normal center fielder gets. That is 25 hits.

    25 hits over a full season is worth 42 points of average. Given that some of those hits are going to be for extra bases..... do you still think is "inflated"?
    Yes, I think that it is inflated and that your analogy is improper.
    Why do you consider it as a full season instead of a single game and do you really think that Choo's terrible defense in the field has been a problem over the course of the season?

    Although the defense is surely the important thing, I think that the importance of defense has been generally overrated.

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    We just have to disagree on this junkhead....defense is generally underrated by most fans, imo. Pitching will appear worse than it really is, "gift" hits give the opponent more opportunities, can change the momentum of an inning or extend it, and in CF those gifts are often of the XBH variety. I don't think Doug overstated the number of gift hits that Choo likely allows with his extremely poor UZR. In an analysis of this team's problems this year, Choo in CF is way back on the list but it IS on the list.

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    We just have to disagree on this junkhead....defense is generally underrated by most fans, imo. Pitching will appear worse than it really is, "gift" hits give the opponent more opportunities, can change the momentum of an inning or extend it, and in CF those gifts are often of the XBH variety. I don't think Doug overstated the number of gift hits that Choo likely allows with his extremely poor UZR. In an analysis of this team's problems this year, Choo in CF is way back on the list but it IS on the list.
    Except for a game against Cards in early April, Do you remember a single instance in which Choo's poor defense changed the momentum of a game?

    I bet you don't remember.

    That's why I am saying that we are giving too much weight to the defense.
    Of course, you could tell about run-saving defense(robbing home run, for example).
    But, that type of defense is rare.

    Finally, Do you know that the defensive metric is quite inaccurate and has a considerable flaw when compared with the offensive stats?

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    Except for a game against Cards in early April, Do you remember a single instance in which Choo's poor defense changed the momentum of a game?

    I bet you don't remember.

    That's why I am saying that we are giving too much weight to the defense.
    Of course, you could tell about run-saving defense(robbing home run, for example).
    But, that type of defense is rare.

    Finally, Do you know that the defensive metric is quite inaccurate and has a considerable flaw when compared with the offensive stats?
    You're calling poor defense when he messes up so bad he's given an error. The UZR includes balls he just doesn't get to also. There ave been plenty of balls he hasn't got to that Stubbs would have. May not seem like much, but the Reds have a lot of one run loses this year. Especially when Homer has been out there and the Reds score the standard 0, 1, or 2 runs for him.
    Reds fan since 1968 win or lose.

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    Except for a game against Cards in early April, Do you remember a single instance in which Choo's poor defense changed the momentum of a game?

    I bet you don't remember.
    This is the reason we use stats: defensive, offensive and pitching. One can remember a few "exciting" events over the course of a season but not the tens of thousands of plays that occur between all teams on the field.

    Let alone see all of them in person.

    That's why I am saying that we are giving too much weight to the defense.
    Of course, you could tell about run-saving defense(robbing home run, for example).
    But, that type of defense is rare.

    Finally, Do you know that the defensive metric is quite inaccurate and has a considerable flaw when compared with the offensive stats?
    What does the accuracy of the stat have to do with the role of defense?

    The best pitchers in the game get 8-9 outs if they pitch the entire game. Realistically, that's 6-ish. The other 12 (while they're pitching) largely come from defense.

    Last year, the average NL CF had over 400 opportunities.

    To me, defense is a large part of the game.
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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    If outs are your currency then taking away that currency will always be a tool that is deployed. There is nothing overrated about defense as a tool

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    RedlegJake (08-08-2013), reds1869 (08-11-2013)

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    As you all know, Choo's defense in CF is terrible and it is actually the worst(-14.3) among qualified MLB outfielders according to Fangraphs' UZR(Although I don't believe in defensive metrics personally). But Choo's defense has not been a problem at all during the season.

    I can't remember a single instance in which Choo's defense had a decisive effect on a game except for the one against Cards in early April or cost us a game.
    Tells you how useful UZR is. Choo's been adequate, far from terrible. Like you said, the game against the Cards early on is the only one I can point to and say "He cost us a game." Not bad for a guy who is playing out of position.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    If outs are your currency then taking away that currency will always be a tool that is deployed. There is nothing overrated about defense as a tool
    Would agree with that, but I think trying to assign it numerical values is extremely complicated (and unreliable).
    Rounding third and heading for home...

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    OK, use the eyeball test - I've seen at least a half dozen hits that Stubbs or maybe Robinson would have gotten to. I don't see how anyone can argue Choo is a decent CFer. He is not. Now, does his bat make up for any defensive deficiency? Yes. But it would have played even better in LF, but that has been covered before (Ludwick returning, Choo having to learn CF from scratch late season etc). He doesn't always get a great jump, as if he's taking an extra split second to gauge the ball. He takes poor routes at times. He has marginal speed for a CFer. He is fairly sure when he does get to a ball however. Adequate is a good adjective defensively. Not a terrible liability (mostly range) but certainly no asset.

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    Re: Aren't we giving too much weight to CF defense?

    The oft-mentioned game vs STL we ended up winning, in no small part ot Choo's offense, so there's that.
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