Per MLB.com’s Patrick Pinak, citing STATS LLC, the Marlins’ infielders have gone 26 consecutive games without committing an error, a feat that hasn’t been done since 1913. The club has made up 4.5 games in the standings in the last week and a half. The defense is one part of the equation explaining their recent success.
Michael Jong of SB Nation’s Fish Stripes credits the stingy defense to Perry Hill, who coached the Marlins from 2002-07, then rejoined the club in 2011 where he’s been ever since. Jong explains that Hill has a simple approach with the Marlins’ infielders, which is simply to not give away outs. That’s illustrated by the infield’s current errorless streak, but also by the stats on the season as a whole. Marlins first basemen have committed only four errors, second basemen five, third basemen two, and shortstops six.
And, for what it’s worth, even the advanced stats show the Marlins to be an elite team. By UZR, found at Fangraphs, the Marlins rank eighth in all of baseball at 14.4 runs above average. Derek Dietrich has been a net negative at second base (-1.9), but first baseman Justin Bour (1.2), third baseman Martin Prado (2.1), and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (5.9) are all above average.
The Marlins are doing this, by the way, without Dee Gordon who won a Gold Glove at second base for his defensive work last season.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.