Maybe I'm living in the past, but I seem to recall this club priding itself on--indeed building itself around--exceptional defense. Well, we are certainly exceptional this year--exceptionally bad. How bad? Worst in Major League Baseball in fielding percentage, tied for last with Houston in total errors.
The team's pitching staff, all pitch to contact guys, has been assembled around the assumption that our superior defense would make them "better" than they'd be on other teams. Maybe the collapse of fielding has something to do with the underperforming pitching staff. Or maybe the idea of improving mediocre pitching with good defense was silly to begin with. At any rate, nothing much has been working this year, and it's hard to pinpoint any particular culprit. Just to satisfy my curiosity, though, I thought I'd take a look at our defense, player by player, and see who's doing what.
What I found is that our infield stinks, and so does Josh Hamilton. Left is okay, and Center is exceptional. Mike Trout has more chances than just about anyone, and only 2 errors. Hamilton is stinking with 7 errors. But the real problem is the infield.
I thought the reason the light hitting Alberto Callaspo keeps starting at third is his great defense. Well, he's one of the worst defensive third basemen in baseball this year. 10 errors, .940 fielding percentage.
Howie's hitting. Too bad he's not catching the ball. 9 errors, but only a fairly stinky .977 percentage.
Erick Aybar is at the bottom with 8 errors, .967. Harris hasn't helped much as a replacement, committing 3 in limited playing time.
Our pitchers combine for 6 more errors. Not sure how that stacks up against other teams, and I'll admit this is a quickie of a post. I don't want to spend more time on this than it deserves. The basic situation is clear. Overall, a piss poor performance. I'll ask the question again. What's up with this team? Bad coaching, bad attitudes, lack of talent? All of the above?