Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia not a fan of defensive metrics

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Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Look at it this way. If an opposing defense shifts their infield toward the right side when an extreme pull hitter like David Ortiz is at the plate, you’re likely to see the third baseman positioned in the area the shortstop would normally be. That leaves a gaping hole on the left side of the infield, which Ortiz could take advantage of by dropping down a bunt for an easy base hit. Opposing teams are willing to bank on that not happening too often, since the threat of Ortiz trying to mash a home run is far more dangerous than giving up a bunt base hit, but if he were inclined to try it would it be the third baseman’s fault that he couldn’t get to that ball when it rolls through the zone he is typically aligned in?

Of course not, but one of the flaws of defensive metrics is that we haven’t found a way to accurately account for those variables.

"“Defensive metrics, I don’t know what they use. I don’t necessarily care,” said Pedroia. “My job is that there are a lot of people that are going to factor into how I play second. I connect with the first baseman. I’m always talking to the shortstop. We’re all helping each other out. That’s it. We all have to be on the same page, help each other out, position ourselves correctly and execute pitches. If we do that hopefully everybody’s zone rating is great. The bottom line is to prevent runs, and have a plan to execute that plan. If we do that, that’s all we can do.”"

Even the best plans can be unraveled by great hitting, as there is no defense for the old “hit ’em where they ain’t” approach. Just as a hitter can’t always place the ball exactly where he wants it to go, a defender can’t always be in the right spot to make a play.

Next: Chip on his shoulder?