Indians Defense is Taxing the Pitching Staff
Just how bad is the Indians defense? Well, the folks over at Cleveland Sports Insider have broken it all down. In their most recent article, “Cleveland’s ERA-FIP Gap: The Defense IS That Bad,” they explain the gap between Earned Run Average (ERA) and Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and how it demonstrates just how bad the Indians have been out in the field. The end result is more high leverage innings for the pitching staff and more run scoring opportunities for the opposing offense that are not because the pitchers aren’t doing their jobs.
Author John Grimm defends the Indians pitching staff by explaining the following:
Attempting to find nuanced syntheses is an admirable pursuit. In the case of the Indians’ FIP-ERA gap, however, no further synthesis is necessary. Although it is the marginal cases that frequently challenge theories, this particular fringe case seems to only prove the point: namely, garbage defense in, garbage ERA out.
It goes to show just how much of an impact a bad defense can have on a pitching staff. In the case of the Indians, the end result has been a set of not so flattering numbers that have led many, but not all, to believe that the pitching is a big reason for the Tribe’s issues to start the season. That just isn’t the case. Kudos to John Grimm for pointing this out.