Friday, June 13, 2014

Arcia as an outfielder

Oswaldo Arcia makes a sliding catch in Toronto.

Oswaldo Arcia twisted an ankle while running the bases last weekend, and when the Twins got to Toronto there was some question about whether he was ready to play in the outfield.

But Ron Gardenhire wrote him in the lineup with the explanation: He ran around in pregame practice and missed all the balls he'd normally miss during a game.

Funny, yes, but rooted in the reality that Arcia in 2013 was a brutal outfielder.

He's looked a bit better in his limited playing time this year, however. That eyeball perception is, perhaps, helped by the regular sight in April of Chris Colabello in right field; Arcia couldn't help but be an improvement.

That eyeball perception is also upheld by the defensive metrics available on Baseball Reference, which have him as essentially an average defensive right fielder. (Warning: small sample size.)

It has probably helped that he's been strictly a right fielder; he saw more time in left field than in right last season. It was as a left fielder that he got conked on the noggin by a foul ball, the kind of lowlight that helps stick a "bad glove" defensive reputation on a player.

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