Saturday, July 15, 2017

Contemplating Jorge Polanco

There isn't a lot of reason to praise Jose Berrios' pitching Friday night in Houston -- more than half his pitches missed the strike zone -- but the fact remains that five of the seven runs he allowed were unearned because of an error by Jorge Polanco.

Polanco's defense has deteriorated sharply since this post in late May, which quotes the founder of Baseball Info Systems as saying that Polanco had saved five runs with his defense to that point. Well, that same metric, available on Baseball Reference, now shows Polanco as having given back four of those five runs -- and as of this writing, that's not updated with Thursday's game.

My expectations for Polanco's defense at shortstop were not high coming into the season. I would have been pleased on Opening Day with league-average defense from him, and to this point that's close to what the Twins have received. But I also expected him to be a much more productive hitter than he's been. His OPS, .591, is even worse than that of Byron Buxton (.603), and he's 3-for-35 so far this month.

Deteriorating fielding, deteriorating hitting. That's not a good combination, especially with two other shortstops, Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza, on the roster.

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