Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why is Tejada at Short in Close Games?

San Francisco Giants third baseman Miguel Tejada backhands a ball hit by New York Mets batter Scott Hairston before throwing to second base to get a force out in the fourth inning of their MLB National League baseball game in New York, May 5, 2011. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Why does Bruce Bochy play Miguel Tejada at shortstop at the ends of close games? This is one of the more puzzling things for me because it is not like he is reluctant to try to put a better defensive team on the field when it comes to his outfield.

For as much as I have piled on Tejada this season for not playing very well he has been hitting better as of late and with the limited options that the Giants have he has made sense getting playing time at third while Pablo Sandoval was out and helping out at second base when Mike Fontenot was on the disabled list.

That being said there really shouldn't be any reason to have Tejada at shortstop when the Giants have a lead late in the game.

Tejada has seen his range deteriorate to the point that he is no longer viable option at shortstop especially when the Giants have a guy on the team capable of playing plus defense in Brandon Crawford.

Here are the last years of UZR/150, Total Zone and Fan Scouting Report for Tejada at shortstop:

2009: -11.2, -18, -3
2010: 0.3, 14, -3
2011: -12.2, -8, NA

The though of Tejada going after a ground ball in the ninth inning of a 1 run ball game should make you queasy to think about and really doesn't make sense when there is a better alternative.

Bruce Bochy needs to treat him the same way that he treats Pat Burrell when he is in left field and get him out of there after 7 innings when the Giants have the lead and get your best defensive team out there to support this pitching staff.

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