|Jamey Carroll has been an iron man|
at shortstop so far for the Twins.
My eyeball sense is that, while Jamey Carroll is an improvement at shortstop over last year's regular-less disaster, there are still plays left unmade; that the corner outfielders don't get to enough balls; that Danny Valencia's range leaves much to be desired.
But that's an eyeball sense. What do the metrics say?
As I did last year, I will periodically check the "plus-minus" and "runs saved" stats (explanation here) compiled by Baseball Info Systems and which I'm gleaning through an iPad app.
A quick disclaimer: It's just 21 games, and considerably less for several individuals. This is a snapshot of what has happened and not to be relied on as talent evaluation.
First base: Chris Parmelee has started 11 of the 21 games, with Joe Mauer starting five, Justin Morneau 4 and the departed Luke Hughes the other. They have combined for -3 in plus-minus (plays made), -1 in runs saved.
Second base: Alexi Casilla has 17 starts, with two each for Trevor Plouffe and Hughes. Casilla is +6 and 3. Hughes, suprisingly, is +2 in plus-minus despite a lousy .923 fielding percentage. The three are a combined 8 and 3 at second; a running total of 5 in plus minus, 2 in runs saved.
Third base: Danny Valencia has 18 starts, Sean Burroughs three. Burroughs has no score; Valencia is -1, -2 (better than I had expected). Running total: 4, 0.
Shortstop: Carroll has played all but one inning so far and is +1, 2. Running total: 5, 2.
Left field: Josh Willingham has 18 starts, Ben Revere two, Parmelee one. Willingham is -1, -2, which is better than I expected; Revere is +2, 1, which is pretty impressive for 18 innnings; Parmelee is -1, 0. Left field totals 0, -1; running total 5, 1.
|Denard Span, by the metrics, has been the Twins|
best defensive player so far. Ryan Doumit, not so much.
Right field: A mishmash. Plouffe has seven starts, Thomas and Ryan Doumit five apiece, Revere three and Parmelee one. Plouffe is +1 and 1 (surprise); Thomas 0 and 1; Doumit -2, -1; Revere 1 and 1; and Parmelee -2, -1. Right field totals -2, +1, making the running total 14 and 9.
Catcher: Mauer had 12 starts, Doumit nine. Mauer is 0 and 1; Doumit is 0 and -1, making catcher 0 and 0 and the running total unchanged.
Pitcher: I'll spare the individual breakdowns, but will note that Liam Hendriks isn't doing himself any favors (-1, -2 in 16 innings). As a staff, the Twins are -1, -4, making the running total +13 in plus-minus and 5 runs saved.
Which is better than I had expected to find, and far better, I'm sure, than the Twins were in these metrics at any point in 2011.