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Searching for why the Dodgers are such a horrid defensive team

June 21, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has committed seven of the Dodgers' 54 errors this season.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has committed seven of the Dodgers'… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)

Why are the Dodgers such a lousy defensive team? The pyramids should be such a mystery.

This shouldn’t be, really. No one expected the Dodgers to be one of the top defensive teams in baseball, but one of the absolute worst?

The Dodgers are tied with the Angels for the second-most errors (54) in the majors (after three errors Thursday, the Astros have 56 and own MLB's worst fielding percentage, .980).

And when you’re a bad fielding team, of course, it isn’t just the balls you’re butchering but the ones you don’t get to, the plays not made.

For a team that tried to build around pitching, this is a major problem. Particularly when the offense has been so disappointing.

Yet the Dodgers continue to have difficultly cleanly fielding the ball. They started the season with three former Gold Glove outfielders (Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier), a Gold Glove first baseman (Adrian Gonzalez), a highly respected defensive second baseman (Mark Ellis) and a well-above-average defensive catcher (A.J. Ellis).

And they’re stinking up the joint?

All those errors aren’t coming from the left side of the infield. No single Dodger is particularly guilty; it’s a team-wide malady.

The guy with the most errors on the team is ... Gonzalez? Strange but true. The smooth-fielding first baseman has committed seven errors. He committed only five all of last season.

Next come Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker with five, with is more understandable since they’re utility players who have been bounced all around the field. Then it’s Kemp with four in only 50 games; he committed one error last season. Next are Luis Cruz, Justin Sellers and Mark Ellis, all with three each; that’s as many errors as Ellis made all last year.

There’s no logical explanation for it. All those Gold Glovers are a little older, but most are in their prime.

The Dodgers are averaging 0.76 errors per game this season as opposed to 0.60 last season. They can continue to tell themselves it shouldn’t be happening and will eventually even out, but the season is nearing the halfway point.

And the Dodgers continue to be a lousy defensive team, mystery or not.

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