Walton: 2013 Cardinals fare poorly in SABR Defensive Index

From SABR member Brian Walton at Scout.com on November 9, 2013:

Since its 1957 inception, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award has been a welcome addition to Major League Baseball’s annual recognition process, while also being source of controversy at times. Those considered to be the best defensive players by position by league had been selected annually via a vote of MLB managers and coaches.

Despite this seemingly-knowledgeable voting constituency, there have been a number of questionable winners over the years. Perhaps most notable was the selection of Rafael Palmeiro following a season in which he was almost totally a designated hitter.

In fact, the difficulty of separating hitting from defense has been perhaps the greatest challenge over time. It has seemed that to win a Gold Glove, one must also have a good season with the bat, and if not, the chance of winning the top defensive award is dramatically decreased.

Recognizing that a lack of readily-available defensive metrics may be one reason offense is being overly-considered, Rawlings and the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) established a partnership. The idea was to bring in an impartial party to adjust the existing process rather than scrap it entirely.

Read the full article here: http://stlcardinals.scout.com/2/1344742.html

Originally published: November 11, 2013. Last Updated: November 11, 2013.