Back on May 22nd, I wrote a journal entry highlighting the Mets extraordinary defense, and how they were likely to regress, and that it would cause a regression for their pitching, and in turn, their overall team play would come back to Earth. Well, it's close to a month later, so let's see where things stand..
5/22, Team Defensive Efficiency: .741
6/15, Team Defensive Efficiency: .733
While that may not seem like a big deal, every play not made adds up, and some of those plays are bigger than others.
And now, a quick look at some individual performances and how they've changed in the last month or so. Again, the stat is RAR/G, or runs above replacement level saved per game.
Lo Duca, 5/22: .30/G
Lo Duca, 6/15: .22/G
Delgado, 5/22: .20/G
Delgado, 6/15: .21/G
Easley, 5/22: .20/G
Easley, 6/15: .23/G
Wright, 5/22: .05/G
Wright, 6/15: .15/G
Reyes, 5/22: .31/G
Reyes, 6/15: .19/G
Chavez, 5/22: .22/G
Chavez, 6/15: .20/G
Beltran, 5/22: .32/G
Beltran, 6/15: .22/G
New York has also dealt with a bunch of injuries, as Alou has been on the DL and Shawn Green as well. The Mets outfield is better defensively with Endy in there, but the speedy Carlos Gomez has been a non-factor defensively in RF, posting a .14/G RAR number in his 14 games in right. I guess that's a step up from Shawn Green's .04/G.
The biggest things that stick out here are the regressions of Reyes, Lo Duca and Beltran. I pointed out back in May that all three guys were playing over their head defensively, and all 3 have come back to a place more in line with their career norms. The key to that, of course, is those three guys represent the up the middle defense of the team. Reyes is getting to fewer groundballs (presumably), and Beltran is tracking down fewer balls in the gap (presumably), and when you couple that with poor defense at the corners, you get more base hits dropping in, more runs being scored against you, a lower team defensive efficiency, and fewer wins.
David Wright has come back to his career norm, which again I kind of expected, but Delgado is still playing over his head defensively. This will be interesting to watch as the summer unfolds.