There have been plenty of Pedro defense discussions the past two seasons.
His trouble with throws this season and last, and the growing pains of learning first base, have caused many public diatribes about his value to the team. It comes as a surprise to me and many that he wasn’t the worst defender on the team. Per a new data compilation from our friends at Fangraphs, Pedro is only the second worst defender on the Pirates and the first probably will surprise you.
Andrew McCutchen received an “Iron Glove” for centerfield from Fangraphs for scoring a -9 in a hybrid statistic the author August Fagerstrom calls tDEF (assuming it stands for total defense). Alvarez received his own Iron Glove for 1B with a score of -8.
The hybrid statistic combines the sources of defensive stats from Baseball Info Solutions, Fangraphs, and Baseball Prospectus as well as the popular UZR.
The author made special note to mention that McCutchen’s shortcoming might be due to his slow first step which was brought to light by the new Statcast data.
Pouring salt in the wounds, Reds laser beam Billy Hamilton was rated as the best centerfielder killing the notion that it would take a while for him to acclimate to being an outfielder.
All this being said about McCutchen, I personally believe that having Polanco’s and Marte’s cannons in left and right have prevented more runs than they would have if shifted to center and McCutchen’s arm still wouldn’t play in the corners. Maybe this is the method to Hurdle’s madness.
In more positive news, Starling Marte graded out as the best left fielder and Cards’ star Matt Carpenter received an Iron Glove at second… so we have that going for us.