Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Errors in Judgement

There’s been a lot of talk recently around the supposed lack of focus in the field for the Seals, and their growing error totals. It’s a tough stat to uncover for the GBL, as fielding stats are not readily available on-line, and one has to comb back through box scores to get a sense of what’s going on. If you’ve seen the last few games at RAP however, it’s pretty easy to see there are some stone-like hands at play in the yard.

I must say though, that I jumped to a bit of a conclusion a couple weeks ago that I’m currently rethinking… After sitting through the June 4th nooner game against Orange County watching Brian “Inky” Rios pull off 3 errors at 3B, I was relieved when Carlos Duncan showed up and assumed the bag, moving Inky to the DH spot. I remember conversing with Gus about how incidents at third might just be behind us with the addition of Duncan.

Seems I was wrong…The 3B corner continues to provide more adventurous moments than a Michael Bay movie. As of Sunday night’s game (which featured, you guessed it – an error at 3B), Duncan has already been tagged with six errors since becoming a Seal.

Duncan’s early fielding stats are ghastly: 8 assists, 11 put outs, 6 errors, for 25 total chances. That’s a chilly .760 fielding percentage – well below his career average at 3B of .881.

By comparison, the previously maligned Brian Rios actually has very respectable stats. Prior to Duncan’s arrival, Inky had 27 assists, 14 put outs, and 4 errors for a total of 45 chances, and a very respectable .911 fielding percentage. Still below his career 3B average of .940, but well within expectations. Take his 3 error game out of the mix, and he’s pretty much flawless. Chalk it up to one too many John’s Place pancakes before the early game perhaps…

Now fielding stats being what they are, there’s room for interpretation. They don’t take into account things like range and mobility - one’s ability to get to balls that others can’t, nor do they account for the other intangibles a player brings to the infield. Those point aside, I’m thinking it might be time to get Inky back at third, and let Duncan do what he has been doing best lately – dishing up some long balls - from the DH spot.

Inky has been sidelined the past couple of games due to an undisclosed injury, reportedly to be a sore elbow from an “unknown bug bite”. I assume that’s one of those “day to day” injuries. And you thought the mosquitoes were bad at your place!

As simple as it seems, perhaps all the Seals need to improve their recent fielding woes, is a can of Deep Woods Off, and a little Stop-Itch…