From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on April 22, 2016:
As we inch closer to the second month of the season, defensive performance has begun taking form across the league. Several unexpected teams have flashed some leather in the early going, which has helped propel them to the top of their respective divisions.
After snatching Jason Heyward, a back-to-back Fielding Bible Award winner, away from their division rival this offseason, the Cubs have opened the season on fire defensively, posting a league-leading 17 runs saved to date. The outfield duo of Heyward and Dexter Fowler has saved the Cubs four runs apiece, helping the team establish an early 3.5-game lead in the NL Central.
Despite losing Heyward to the Cubbies this winter, the Cardinals have still managed the third-highest runs saved total in baseball. In Heyward’s absence, Stephen Piscotty has emerged as the driving force of run prevention in St. Louis. Piscotty is tied for first in the majors with six runs saved over 116.1 innings this season compared to the five runs he cost them in 537.2 innings last year.
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Originally published: April 22, 2016. Last Updated: April 22, 2016.