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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Defensive embarass-Mets

By Mark Simon

The Mets many defensive lapses in this doubleheader (poor play in the outfield in Game 1, a botched double play that led to five runs in Game 2) led to a quick check of some sabermetric defensive statistics.

The Mets entered the day ranked tied for last in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved. The only team as bad as the Mets is the Cubs. Both have cost their teams an estimated 17 runs because of their defense this season.

For those unfamiliar with this stat, it was devised by John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions and attempts to go beyond the traditional stats to calculate defensive value. It is more all-encompassing than errors.

The basic definition encompasses the following:

-- It measures a players/teams defensive value compared to league average

-- It rates defense in the following areas:
Turning batted balls into outs
Effectiveness of throwing arm (both catchers and outfielders)
Ability to turn double plays
Ability to defend bunts
Ability to make home run-robbing catches

Last season, the Mets defense rated 13th in the majors with 32 Runs Saved. The top team was the Oakland Athletics, with 74 Runs Saved. The Royals ranked last, with a defense that cost the team 88 runs.

A further explanation on Defensive Runs Saved can be found here