Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Should Victor Martinez Get More Playing Time At 1B?

It's a well-known fact that Prince Fielder isn't the fleetest of foot when it comes to playing first base.  In fact, advanced metrics say he's been the worst fielding 1B so far this year.  Among 18 qualified 1B, Fielder ranks dead last in UZR (-7.0), DRS (-8) and RZR (.717).  While Victor Martinez has only played 5 games at 1B this year, he has positive fielding stats: 2 UZR, 2 DRS and an .800 RZR.  Historically, V-Mart has only been about average with a 2.5 UZR, 2 DRS and a .747 RZR in over 1246 innings at 1B.  However, this year he has displayed some great plays as shown in these videos:







When Prince Fielder first signed with the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera had to move back to 3B in order to make room in the lineup.  Both Fielder and Cabrera have been disappointing defensively at their positions (Miggy ranks 21st with a -10.1 UZR, 20th with a .664 RZR and dead last with a -12 DRS out of 22 qualified 3B).  In the future, one of them will more than likely have to move to DH.  Maybe this is a great time to start the transition by playing Fielder more at DH and letting the better fielding Victor Martinez play more 1B.

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