Jeff Passan wrote a column today called 32 Things You Didn’t Know About Baseball.
A few Yankee related tidbits were included and they aren’t good.
Now, to be fair, Yankee fans know that Eduardo Nunez is not a defensive wizard but just how bad is he? Read it and weep:
Yes, Yankees utilityman Eduardo Nunez may be the worst shortstop since defensive metrics arrived about a decade ago. Three shortstops have worse DRS scores than Nunez’s -26: ’05 Michael Young (-32), ’09 Orlando Cabrera (-29) and ’07 Hanley Ramirez (-28). All three played more than 1,300 innings. Nunez has racked up his -26 in all of 581 1/3.
Nunez struggles worst with plays inside the shortstop zone. Of the 165 there this season, he has converted just 97 into outs. That’s 58.8 percent. The previous low for a player with at least 500 innings was Yuniesky Betancourt at 70.6 percent. When anybody is worse than Yuniesky Betancourt at anything in the field, it is the greatest evidence yet that end of days is nigh.
But it gets worse:
If anything, UZR is Nunez’s salvation. His is bad, sure, especially when extrapolated out to 150 games played. That brings it to -38.7, which is some kind of awful, except when compared to another brutal defensive shortstop in 2013, whose UZR/150 is -53.2. His name? Derek Jeter.
Okay, I’m not sure that talking about Derek Jeter’s defense is fair because he’s only played in 17 games this season. Nunez, however, has a bigger sample of games – 75 – and what we’ve seen from him so far in his career as a whole has been pretty brutal.
CC Sabathia was also included in Passan’s piece:
Among starters who qualify for the ERA title this season, CC Sabathia has the single worst fastball. We know Sabathia’s velocity has cratered (with at least three years and $76 million left on his contract, and up to four years and $96 million if he avoids injury and his 2017 option vests). Just how hittable it’s become is the shocking part. Sabathia’s fastball never was his best pitch, not even when it ran on super unleaded instead of ethanol. This year, it’s been worth -16.3 runs.
Again, this isn’t something we didn’t know because we’ve watched the games and we know Sabathia has been struggling but to see it reaffirmed with stats makes it more real and more disturbing.