Saturday, March 21, 2009

Best Defense In The AL East

Tampa Bay RaysJake Cohen of Around The Majors compares the defenses of the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees:
Overall, I have to give the edge to the Rays at this point. They have fewer potential liabilities than the Red Sox and don't have that huge negative number in left field (thank you very much, Jason Bay, you certainly remind Sox fans of Manny in at least one aspect of the game...) but it is pretty close, especially if Lowell returns to form. The one thing we do know is that the Yanks better hope that all that money spent on AJ Burnett and Sabathia leads to more strikeouts than groundballs to the left side with the range less wonder, Mr. Past-A-Diving Jeter, continuing to get worse out there at short.

By the way, the Rays ranked first in defensive efficiency--the rate at which batted balls hit into play are converted into outs--in 2008, a remarkable turnaround which played a major role in why they surrendered so many fewer runs. The Tampa Bay defense played a tremendous impact on their rise to the top of the American League. The Red Sox were also solid, ranking fifth in baseball in DE. The Yankees, however, ranked 25th, one of the most overlooked aspects for why they did not reach the postseason. The addition of Teixeira helps, as he represents an upgrade over Jason Giambi, but the defensive unit is a still a cause for concern in the Bronx.

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