Thursday, April 20, 2017

Still an efficient defense

The Twins had a rainout Wednesday and their first truly poor game of the season on Tuesday. Their record has subsided from a 100-win pace to .500. And Robbie Grossman has gone from zero innings in the field to a pair of starts in right.

So I figured it was a good time to check the updated defensive efficiency stats for the Twins. This was the major topic of the Monday print column, for which I used the number listed on Baseball Reference through last Saturday's games. The Twins led the majors at that point, having turned 78.6 percent of balls in play into outs.

As of this morning, B-R had the Twins still leading the majors in defensive efficiency at .763. That's more than 100 percentage points higher than Cleveland, which sits last of the 30 teams, and 17 percentage points ahead of second-place Miami.

It's also, to be sure, a drop-off of 23 percentage points in three games. As noted in the Wednesday post, it's early in the season, and the stats haven't had time to stabilize. I do think this defense has a chance to be quite good, but the continued deployment of Grossman and Danny Santana in the outfield won't help.

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