Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Cuddyer Principle in effect

Michael Cuddyer may hit better when playing first base, but he had a rough game there Wednesday.

Early on, broadcaster Bert Blyleven relayed to viewers the idea at Cuddyer not only plays multiple positions, he plays them all well.

No. He plays them passably — which is not an indictment. It's praise. There are a lot of nuances to major league baseball, even at the simplest positions (such as first base); for a player to start games at five different positions without embarrassing himself totally at any is an accomplishment.

But the Cuddyer Principle — that you can get by for while with an out-of-position player before he demonstrates that he's out of position — is still true.

Chicago's third run (third inning) was set up with Cuddyer couldn't handle a throw. Alexi Ramirez advanced to second on the error and scored on the following batter's single.

A key piece of Chicago's three-run fifth inning — an outburst that drove Glen Perkins from the mound and essentially buried the Twins chances — was Cuddyer's inability to turn a pickoff of Juan Pierre into an out. Pierre took off for second, Cuddyer made a weak throw, and Pierre was credited with a stolen base. (Photo above)

No error charged, but still a missed out. That led directly to Pierre's run, and indirectly to another run later in the inning.

Perkins wasn't great, but his defense —not limited to Cuddyer — did him no favors.


  1. It wasn't Cuddyer's fault that Hardy decided he had to rush a throw with Konerko jogging to 1B and Perkins didn't help himself any by throwing to 1B instead of 3B on the bunt he fielded (despite having plenty of time to get the runner at 3B and his catcher clearly telling him to do just that). Not arguing that you're wrong at a high level, because I agree that Cuddyer is "passable" at many positions as opposed to "good" defensively. Just saying he was far from alone last night in terms of defensive failure.

  2. Yes, there were plenty of defensive failings Wednesday night. Hardy had an error, Mijares failed to get to first on the play on which he was injured ... sometimes a whole team just breaks down out there. That was last night.

    This post was essentially a reaction to the Denard Span (via Blyleven) over-praise of Cuddyer's defense.