Sarris: Have the Mariners been too obsessed with outfield defense?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on March 30, 2018:

There’s no doubt that outfield defense has been a huge part of Jerry Dipoto’s plan for the Seattle Mariners since he took over as General Manager.

“We thought outfield defense would be a critical element,” he told Jared Diamond of his plan last season.

“We had eight targets this offseason,” he told the crowd in a March 2017 SABR Analytics conference. “We got them.”

The reasoning behind the effort was tight.

“We play in a ballpark and in a division that should enhance our ability to win games via defense, especially range in the outfield,” Dipoto said on that panel. “We play in a big ballpark where generally the ball hangs up in the gaps more than the others. We play in a division with at least three ballparks — in Anaheim, Oakland, Seattle — that play a little bit bigger than most,” he pointed out.

The execution was a different story, maybe.

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Originally published: March 30, 2018. Last Updated: March 30, 2018.