Thursday, June 3, 2010

This is What You Signed on for...

So the 14 errors are 5 more than any one else in baseball. This was a given going into spring training: Ian Desmond was going to make A LOT of errors, and both the coaches and most of the media agreed that it was worth overlooking for the long-term benefits of the team. That was March 2nd.

Roll around to June 2nd, and the Nats clinging to respectability. Ian Desmond MIGHT have contributed to the team losing with a hat trick of misfortune in the field, though scoring all of one run may have played an equally important role. Desmond himself had the only extra base hit after the first inning. Before continuing the E-6 jokes, here are couple of things to put into perspective. Thus far this season, Desmond has been worth about 1 win above replacement (0.9), while the man he replaced, Cristian Guzman, has put up 0.6 with a similar number of plate appearances. Based on the UZR, Desmond has made a play on over 84% of the the balls hit into his zone in 2010, as opposed to 78.5% for Guzman in 2009 (or 77% this season). Finally, remember Ryan Zimmerman was among the league leaders in errors at third base last season, but because he gets to so many more balls than other players, it is written off as an acceptable work hazard.

As rookie, Ian Desmond's production puts him in the middle of the pack amongst major league shortstops. He will improve on a daily basis and the errors should be ignored; this team wasn't expected to be in a wild card race and shouldn't start changing plans because they are flirting with .500 in June. Keep Desmond on the diamond, and Casey at the Bat.

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