So, after finding TotalZone when looking for a decent metric to evaluate Cal's defense a couple of days ago, I decided to see what it said about the 2009 O's, since if we look at defensive stats, we usually just use UZR. I was just going to post this in the Open Thread, but it got pretty long. Anyway, some interesting tidbits:
* Brian Roberts doesn't look good via TotalZone, either. I'm not positive, but I think it actually rates him worse than UZR does for 2009, and it definitely does for 2008 (when UZR is mostly unhappy with his double play runs). Between the stats, seeing Abreu make those plays in that ST game, and now the back issue, I'm getting really worried about B-Rob's defense going forward. I had been predicting a rebound, but I'm doubting that now.
* Melvin Mora was, indeed, above-average at the hot corner, if not by all that much.
* It doesn't like Nolan Reimold. Hopefully that'll change.
* It has Adam Jones as above-average, but he'd be below-average without his arm. I don't think the doctor's defensive off-year is anything to worry about, though.
* Nick Markakis has some weird numbers. In 2007 and 2008, he was a bit above average on the road and a bit below average at home. In 2009, he was well above average at home and far below average on the road. I don't really know what to make of that, since anything I come up with is purely conjecture, but it's interesting. Oh, and it actually has his arm a touch below average last year, but I don't expect that to last.
* It has Felix Pie way, way above average in CF (for both last year and his career) and still has him well above average in left. Granted, both are small sample sizes.
* It has Robert Andino worse than Izzy but still well above average at SS last year. This contrasts with his career numbers, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the regular playing time really did help him.
Hopefully some of that was interesting enough to have been worth the read. Unfortunately, like most defensive metrics, it doesn't say anything about catchers or pitchers, so I can't touch on our switch-hitting future or ZAUN. I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on the weird trend with Nick. Along those lines, I'm developing a theory... does anyone know how much time players usually spend getting acclimated to road ballparks?