First off, WTOP’s Craig Heist, of all people, interviews Ian Desmond in two parts I | II
DAN DALY – Are 34 Errors Really That Big a Deal? – The Wash. Times*
A statistical breakdown by Daly makes the argument that Desmond’s errors were not quite the disaster that they sound like. While Daly points out that 16 Desmond errors did not result in a run being scored which means that at least 18 did. Left unsaid was how many runs were scored following a Desmond error because 18 runs (at minimum) are A LOT of runs.
Another breakdown worth looking is seeing how many extra pitches had to be thrown? Obviously, it would be an inexact science. Extra pitches are the last thing you want with young, inexperienced starters or an overworked bullpen like the Nats had in 2010.
Also, this is of interest:
● In the 28 games Desmond made an error (in some games he made more than one), his stats looked like this: .327 average, .582 slugging, .357 OBP, .939 OPS, 7 2B, 7 HR, 17 RBI.
● In his 126 error-free games, meanwhile, his stats looked like this: .253 average, .342 slugging, .296 OBP, .638 OPS, 20 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 48 RBI.
Another positive, I suppose, is that none of the 10 errors Desmond made after July 29 cost the Nats any runs. So, does that mean that Desmond improved at situational errors?
I can understand the desire to defend Desmond, because I think he will become an above average shortstop and improve significantly in 2011, but cherry-picking stats like this isn’t making me believe his errors were not a problem last year.
*I will have more to say about the sports section return to The Wash. Times sometime soon.