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Marlins demote Derek Dietrich because of his defense

Jun 4, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Derek Dietrich AP

Derek Dietrich has been the Marlins’ starting second baseman since being called up from the minors in the middle of last season and he’s actually hit well this year with a .773 OPS in 41 games, but he’s been demoted back to Triple-A because the team thinks his defense is terrible.

Dietrich has seven errors, which is tied for the MLB lead among second basemen, and Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald writes that he “has had plenty of defensive struggles” even beyond the error total. Ultimate Zone Rating agrees, pegging Dietrich as 9.0 runs below average in 800 career innings at the position.

But still: 24-year-old middle infielders with a .773 OPS don’t grow on trees and Dietrich’s defensive numbers aren’t considerably worse than plenty of other regulars with good bats. He’s a former Rays second-round draft pick who was acquired by the Marlins in exchange for Yunel Escobar and certainly seems good enough to remain in their long-term plans.

  1. chc4 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    After having just watched some of the Marlins/Braves series over the weekend I can say that this guy is horrid in the field. It was just 3 games but he made at least 4-5 horrible plays. Not all were errors but they cost FL runs.

    • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Yes he did – my comment on Monday morning’s ATH was that the official scorer was more generous to the Feesh infielders than the scoreboard was to the team in general. Dietrich was never the second coming of Bobby Richardson out there but he wasn’t nearly this bad last season or earlier this season. All of a sudden he’s been laying brain farts as if someone had injected bean burritos directly into his skull a la Dark City. Well, a trip to Nawlins will help him vent the accumulated methane – lots of bland food will do that for you.

  2. plmathfoto - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    He continues in the great Marlin second base tradition of “he leads the league in errors, and his name is Dan Uggla” (play on the way the Marlins’ horrible announcers used to promote anything Uggla did).

    • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      Then get it right: “And his name is Daaaaaaaaannnnnn…..UHHGGILAH!” Yeah, had to endure that for several years. They made it sound like a game show host calling the winner – you know, “Missus Carolyn Preskie, you’ve so-o-o-o-old OUT!

  3. jcmeyer10 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Truth is, he was simply making too much money.

    • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      On the Feesh, that is an eternal truth.

  4. lukedunphysscienceproject - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I don’t know if the stats back me up or if the media is just focusing on it more, but I swear I am seeing more atrocious defense this year than I can ever remember. And it’s NOT just because I watch the Yankees every night (har har). And so much of it just seems to come from laziness i.e. late on balls, not getting the glove down, etc.

    It seems every highlight package I watch shows as many errors or just bad judgement plays as they do great plays. I guess it was only a matter of time before a team demoted someone who was actually producing offensively solely because he was taking too much off the table defensively.

  5. sumerduckman - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Well, they could have a short stop that leads the majors in errors with 13 , while putting up a .228 ba. We won’t mention any names, but his initials are Ian Desmond.

  6. mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    The overall lack of defensive prowess would be perceived as even worse if almost every official scorer weren’t under pressure from teams, fans, players, and possibly even MLB to score just about everything as a hit. The things I see announced as “hits” when I watch a game are simply appalling.

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