Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Rangers: AL's worst fielding pitchers since '07
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
Since Ron Washington arrived in 2007, the Rangers' pitchers have been the worst in the American League when it comes to fielding.
In that span, the Rangers rank 14th in the AL with 85 errors, 14th in fielding percentage (.930) and 12th in putouts (373).
"It's not about technique, it's about want to," Washington said. "It's about having some personal pride in your job and making the plays you're supposed to make. It's about doing your job. Our pitchers have done a great job so far in spring training, but we're going to stay on them because they have to be better."
Last season, the Rangers' pitchers committed 16 errors. Only two teams had more, and their .930 fielding percentage was second-worst in the AL.
Among starters, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis each made four errors; Derek Holland committed three.
Obviously, fielding has been a point of emphasis in spring training, especially with Greg Maddux, who earned a MLB-record 18 Gold Gloves being added to the Rangers' organization. He's talking to the pitching staff about everything from being in the proper position to make a play after throwing a pitch to looking through the sun to catch a pop up.
So far, so good.
The Rangers' pitchers have yet to make an error in spring training - their opponents have committed six - and Washington said they have done a nice job of covering first base and making the plays they're supposed to make.
"You just can't get the ball and throw it down the right field line, when it's supposed to be an out," Washington said. "Now, you've given the team an extra out that might lead to a run. You have to throw more pitches, so you might get pulled from the game an inning earlier, which means we have to go to the bullpen sooner than we wanted. When your pitchers make errors, a lot of bad things happen."