Monday, May 25, 2009
Boston's shaky SS defense
I love this quote -- in the wake of a double play that wasn't turned -- from Terry Francona (via Sean McAdam):
"Evaluating our shortstops in May, for public consumption - I don't know that helps our cause. I watch the games. But it's our responsibility - if it's not good enough, then make it good enough.” Well, it's not good enough. Not defensively, anyway. According to Ultimate Zone Rating, Red Sox shortstops have been third-worst in the majors. Now, it should be said that this state of affairs is quite possibly temporary, even if nobody changes anything, because Julio Lugo has always been a decent enough shortstop until this season ... and this season he's started only 15 games.
In the grand scheme, addressing (if not necessarily fixing) the defense at shortstop is probably the organization's No. 2 concern, with No. 1 being the ongoing struggles of David Ortiz (and no, playing Jeff Bailey at first base isn't the answer) ... but those two problems are essentially the Red Sox' only problems. Which goes a long way toward explaining why they're in first place, and are likely to wind up in the playoffs in a few months. Again.