Jul 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Pillar (11) catches a ball during the ninth inning in a game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. The Boston Red Sox won 12-6. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays have made run prevention a priority. They’ve focused on bringing in talent that will provide defensive abilities better than what we’ve seen around these parts. Ben Revere, Cliff Pennington, Darwin Barney and even Troy Tulowitzki are all players meant to address the defense. It was definitely part of the allure of Josh Donaldson.
But, did it work? And, do the moves make the Blue Jays better than the Yankees? Well, they hold a better fielding percentage than New York at 0.985. Granted, the edge is marginal with the Yankees sitting at 0.984. But, a closer look reveals 82 errors for the Blue Jays and 87 for the Yankees. Baseball Reference says the Blue Jays also hold the advantage in RF/9: 4.11 to 4.08. The Blue Jays have also turned 138 double plays to the Yankees’ 122.
We should not forget about the defense that Russell Martin brings to the club. He has been so good at shutting down the running game. He’s thrown out 44% of would be base stealers to lead the league. The club has combined to catch 40 thieves for a 41% rate (and allowed 56 stolen bases). The “other guys” have only caught 32 for 33% and allowed 65.
In total, the gloves of the two teams have yielded Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average (Rtot) marks that are telling. And, when you look at the result for the year, the advantage is clear. Blue Jays: Rtot: 45, Rtot/yr: 4. Yankees: Rtot: -30, Rtot/yr: -3.
*All stats accurate as of Wednesday morning.
Next: Blue Jays vs Yankees: The Record