Saturday, April 18, 2015

An early view of Santana at shortstop

Danny Santana has struggled in the field in the early going.
I'll start with the caveat: It's early. The Twins have played all of 10 games. But Danny Santana is not impressing me in his first sustained time at shortstop in the majors.

He made another poor throw Friday night on an attempted 3-6-1 double play, His return throw was a least a yard behind pitcher Mike Pelfrey. (Bert Blyleven tried to blame the missed connection on Pelfrey, a bit of commentary sufficiently inane that I suspect he's been ordered not to be critical of Santana defensively.) There was no error charged --  the batter-runner didn't advance, and the scoring rules say you can't presume the double play -- but it was a poor throw.

As it is, Santana has already been charged with more errors (3) this season than he was in his 34 sporadic major league games at short last season (2). Errors are, of course, a very blunt statistical tool with which to try to dissect defense, but such a high error rate indicates a problem, especially since official scorers tend to be sparing with the "E"s. There have been other misplays that have gone as fielder's choices or hits.

Again: It's early, far too early to start citing the metrics on Santana's defense. Perhaps he'll settle in and start playing more consistently, Or perhaps his attention will fade and the mistakes will increase. I don't know where this is going. I do believe he's living down to his reputation as a sloppy defensive shortstop in the minors.

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