2010 in Review: Second Base

Posts in this series:

Team Offense Team Pitching
Team Defense
Catcher First Base Second Base
Shortstop Third Base Designated Hitter
Left Field Center Field Right Field
Starting Pitching Relief Pitching

 

Part I: Review

2010 Overview

The Indians started the season with Luis Valbuena and Mark Grudzielanek sharing time at the position. Grudzielanek was released on June 10th. Just four days later, the Indians claimed Jayson Nix off waivers from Chicago, and a hot start at the plate by Nix won him an everyday job at the position. Asdrubal Cabrera came off the DL on July 20th, so for a short time Jason Donald and Nix shared the position. But then Jhonny Peralta was dealt, and Nix played much of the rest of the season at third, with Valbuena getting playing time in September after Donald injured a finger.

 

Defense

Like with the shortstops and third basemen, there were several players accruing at least 200 innings at the position. Luis Valbuena led with 581.2 innings at second, not even close to qualifying for comparative fielding categories (about 900 innings). So to lead things off, here's the team positional defensive numbers compared to their AL peers:

 

Team Inn DPR RngR ErrR UZR UZR/150
Athletics 1431 3.7 5.6 5.2 14.5 12.9
Twins 1452 -2.4 12.4 1.1 11.1 9.9
Blue Jays 1440 1.6 6.9 1 9.5 8.8
Rays 1453 -1.9 10 -2 6.2 6.3
Red Sox 1456 0.9 0.5 -0.6 0.8 0.7
Rangers 1455 -1.5 2.8 -1.5 -0.2 0
Yankees 1442 1.5 -7.5 5.1 -0.8 -1.1
Tigers 1444 2.1 -1.6 -1.6 -1.1 -1.1
Orioles 1436 0.3 -3.3 0.3 -2.7 -2.6
White Sox 1446 0.9 -2.9 -1.3 -3.3 -3.3
Royals 1436 -3.7 0.5 -2.5 -5.8 -4.9
Angels 1449 -2.2 -6.5 1.5 -7.2 -7.1
Indians 1433 0.6 -10.6 2.4 -7.6 -6.2
Mariners 1438 0.6 -6.2 -7.1 -12.6 -12.7

 

Seattle's low rating was a one-man show (Chone Figgins, who was playing the position after three years as a full-time 3B). The Indians were rated second-to-last, though quite a bit above Seattle, and it was a team effort. Six players manned the position, with four logging 200 innings or more. With most of these guys not having much of a fielding history to draw upon, it's tough to make individual pronouncements, but I feel safe in saying that the defense needs to improve no matter who is playing the position in 2010.

 

Name Pos Inn DPR RngR ErrR UZR UZR/150
Luis Valbuena 2B 581 0.5 -3.7 0.7 -2.4 -4.8
Jason Donald 2B 356 -0.1 -3.2 0.4 -3 -10
Mark Grudzielanek 2B 228 0.2 -2.5 0 -2.3 -11.2
Jayson Nix 2B 213 -0.4 -0.6 1.2 0.2 2.4
Drew Suttton 2B 35 0.3 -1 0.3 -0.4 -10.5
Anderson Hernandez 2B 18 0.1 0.4 -0.2 0.2 25.5

I guess the one guy on this list I'm most confident about making a judgment on is Luis Valbuena, who I didn't like at second last year and really didn't like at second this year. I'd place Nix and Donald above Valbuena, and I didn't see much difference defensively between the first two.

Offense

Thanks to the Valbuena/Grudzielanek combo at the beginning of the season, the Indians finished dead last in second base hitting:

Rk PA AB 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1 NYY 705 635 42 3 29 57 78 .321 .382 .534 .915 .328 132 153
2 BOS 724 642 42 2 22 68 120 .260 .332 .435 .767 .286 94 112
3 DET 676 605 35 5 12 53 98 .276 .335 .410 .745 .311 99 107
4 TEX 694 609 33 3 9 66 91 .279 .355 .388 .743 .313 98 107
5 OAK 662 590 30 0 7 54 96 .290 .354 .376 .730 .333 109 104
6 TBR 662 579 32 2 18 56 144 .249 .320 .404 .724 .294 96 101
7 BAL 700 622 26 1 17 60 121 .260 .332 .387 .720 .298 105 100
8 KCR 680 631 25 4 11 38 78 .282 .325 .387 .712 .306 95 98
9 MIN 728 647 32 7 10 64 109 .261 .329 .379 .708 .298 86 97
10 LAA 697 646 40 5 8 35 95 .274 .315 .389 .704 .308 101 96
11 CHW 642 580 27 3 11 43 129 .241 .300 .355 .655 .291 75 82
12 TOR 674 616 25 0 27 44 101 .211 .271 .383 .654 .210 71 81
13 SEA 711 611 21 2 1 74 118 .259 .339 .304 .643 .315 103 81
14 CLE 653 594 25 1 11 46 119 .231 .293 .332 .624 .270 79 74
TOT 9608 8607 435 38 193 758 1497 .264 .328 .391 .719 .298 96 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/24/2010.

The breakdown of that team number into individual player statistics:

Rk G PA ▾ AB 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1 Luis Valbuena 71 258 232 11 0 2 20 46 .194 .262 .267 .529 .231 100 48
2 Jason Donald 41 155 142 9 1 2 11 37 .254 .312 .373 .685 .330 99 90
3 Mark Grudzielanek 26 113 104 0 0 0 8 9 .269 .327 .269 .597 .295 98 68
4 Jayson Nix 25 105 95 5 0 7 6 21 .263 .327 .537 .864 .269 152 137
5 Drew Sutton 4 15 14 0 0 0 1 5 .143 .200 .143 .343 .222 -3 -3
6 Anderson Hernandez 2 7 7 0 0 0 0 1 .143 .143 .143 .286 .167 4 -20
Team Total 162 653 594 25 1 11 46 119 .231 .293 .332 .624 .270 79 74
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/24/2010.

 

There were some nice individual performances in here, particularly Nix's, so unlike the defensive numbers, the low batting team totals was not indicative of how all the players did.

Valbuena just had a terrible season: posting a 48 OPS+ was quite a difficult feat  considering how down the offense was league-wide. Donald did pretty well for his first major-league. Grudzielanek (probably) finished his major-league career with a gigantic thud.

Part II: Looking Towards 2011

Not Coming Back

Anderson Hernanez (Claimed off Waivers, 7-21-2010)

Mark Grudizelanek (Released 6-10-2010)

Gruzielanek was the one free agent dud in Mark Shapiro's last off-season. He was supposed to provide some baseline production in case Valbuena crashed and burned, but he was almost as bad, so the Indians had to look for other options.

Returning

Jayson Nix (Pre-Arbitration) - No Option Years Remaining

Nix for a time was carrying the offense, and playing a decent second base. Then he moved to third, looked really uncomfortable there, and his hitting dropped off towards the end of the season. I think the best thing for Nix would be for the Indians to sign or trade for a starting third baseman, leaving Nix at second base, where he'd most likely share playing time with Jason Donald.

Jason Donald (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year Remaining

Donald spent the first couple months of his major-league career as a shortstop, which was his position throughout the minors, but I think he looked better at second base. He even held his own at the plate, ending the season with a .253/.312/.378 batting line, which translates to a 94 OPS+. That's definitely acceptable for a major-league second baseman, but he'll have some competition next season, most notably Jayson Nix.

Luis Valbuena (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year

There's no way the Indians give Valbuena another shot in the majors without a major showing in AAA first. Luis had an awful season at the plate, and didn't look much better in the field.

Drew Sutton (Pre-Arbitration) - No Options Remaining

I think Drew will stick on the roster through the winter, and might have an opportunity to make next year's club as a utility infielder.

In the Minors

Jason Kipnis (Not on 40-Man Roster)

Kipnis had a fantastic season with Akron, and then went off with Columbus in the playoffs. I think the Indians will have him start the season in Columbus, but I don't think there's much keeping him from the majors.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker