FanShot

FG: Fielding the Real Reason for Texas's Improved Run Prevention

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Sky touched on this a little when discussing Kevin Millwood earlier, and Dave Cameron put together an article about it at FanGraphs. Texas right now is off to a better start than they've had in about half a decade, and their improved run prevention has been well documented. The credit is usually given to the pitching, thanks to a better ERA, but, as Cameron points out, the real strength has been the defense. The pitching, in fact, has a worse FIP thus far in 2009 (5.17) than it did in 2008 (4.83). A few outlets roundly criticized the idea of moving Michael Young and calling up Elvis Andrus, but UZR would suggest it's been great so far, as Andrus has put up an 8.9 UZR/150, significantly better than Young in 2008, while Young has struggled at third but is still beating the assortment of players who spent time their last year. Meanwhile, it moved Chris Davis over to first, where he's put up a 24 UZR/150. For the team, that's a -51.7 UZR last year to 9.5 this year. So the next time another media member talks about the Rangers finally getting great pitching, you can smile and know it's actually that they're finally getting great fielding.
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