Monday, November 24, 2008

How defense hurt Moose

We can all agree about this: The Yanks' defense over the last decade has never been particularly good. So how much has it cost Moose during his tenure on the Yanks?

Fortunately for Mussina, another necessary adjustment goes in his favor: correcting for defensive support. Although E.R.A. is supposed to insulate pitchers from the impact of their fielders by ignoring runs that result from errors, it does so poorly, because it ignores the effects of defenders’ range. Those who pitch in front of sure-handed but immobile fielders will be charged with many hits and earned runs, while those whose defenders botch some routine plays but make up for it by taking away hits from their opponents will fare much better by E.R.A.

This issue is particularly pressing in Mussina’s case, since by signing with the
Yankees before the 2001 season, he chose to pitch in front of what was perhaps the worst fielding team of the last 20 years. With liabilities like the late-model Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter at shortstop — every respectable quantitative measure finds Jeter’s range atrocious — virtually any ball hit into play against the Yankees was a potential disaster. In the worst year, 2003, the defense cost the club’s staff nearly 50 points of E.R.A.
I enjoy seeing a new angle on an argument.

1 comment:

Joeorange31 said...

The defense may have cost him .50 per season over his career, but the offense may have given him an additional, what...five wins per season over the last seven years? 35 wins? 235 doesn't sound NEARLY as "Hall Worthy" as 270.

You're well aware that he's my fave, but let's be fair. Die by the sword, live by the sword.