Analysis | The signing of Kyle Schwarber sheds light on Victor Rubles’ defense

“For some reason no one likes me on the left,” Schwarber said in a video call with reporters on Saturday. “Everyone likes to see these numbers and things and just pushes me on it.”

Schwarber smiled like a man accustomed to hearing their faults. The defect of his defense – then the rubles, too, must come with some drawbacks: fielding analysis is a flawed science. Equipment provided by Fan Graphics and MLB’s Statcast is used in front offices, although outsiders and inconsistencies are identified. And 2020, a 60-game season of coronavirus epidemics, devoid of its own statistics.

But Schwarber was right to say that he has criticism as a left fielder. One obvious exception, of course, is the Nationals team that will keep him there and hope that his offense will focus on 38 homers by 2019 and a base plus slugging percentage of 871. They seem to do the same in business. For Bell, who is a poor defensive first baseman and valuable to his bat. For each club there is a delicate commercial office built around it.

Citizens, like all teams, have a unique way of conducting defensive assessments, including scouting reports, internal statistics and numbers that are available to reporters and fans. Then they have their own way of weighing offensive estimates against defensive minutes.

Defensive runs saved, a Ketchup Fan Graphics metric that measures players in terms of average, calls Sanwarbar the league’s second-worst left-arm fielder since 2017. Above average, range-based statcast metrics, such a lack of speed and inability to spring into space is also unfair for Schwarber.

They’ve got better rents in some of the more advanced categories, such as the final zone classification, as its arm strength has been assessed. Yet, as he admits, he considers numbers to be a poor protector. It just doesn’t feel right.

“I see myself as a good performer,” Schwarber, 27, said Saturday. “You know, I’m going there, I’ll do the drama I need.”

Let’s assume that’s true. Let’s assume that, in 2021, Schwarzenegger puts most of his plays within the limits of his skill and athleticism. Let’s also assume he’s better under manager Dave Martinez, a former outfielder with the Chicago Cubes and a former Schwarzenegger bench coach. There is a good chance that it is still statistically surpassing.

And that’s where the ruble comes in.

Two seasons ago, the Rubles were reportedly the league’s best defensive outfielders. He led all capable outfielders with 25 defensive runs. He was above average with 23 points. He was surrounded by two lazy bodyguards. Joan Soto on the left, Adam Eaton on the right – and the Nationals’ outfield in the fielding statistics at the top of the league. It was the work of rubles.

Then it slipped in 2020 and so did the defense. Rubles, according to Martinez, gained fifteen pounds of muscle, and struggled to adjust to the plate and the field. He finished 48th among the qualified outfielders. He went below average in the UZR and won with two outs above average, Soto, Eaton and yes, only slightly higher than Schwarzenegger.

Citizens Outfield came in 29th out of 30 teams with 30 defensive runs. The team’s overall defense was last. In the cut-off year, Soto and Eaton’s defense was worse but they did not fluctuate a ton from the previous season. So like 2019, the ruble was different.

“Before the 23-year-old played the winter ball in his native Dominican Republic,” Martins said of the Rubles in September. And two, this kid is going to tell some numbers as a hitter. We have to keep working with it right now.

It will go a long way if the ruble realizes that gold glue is predictable. If they can get back to the neighborhood, at least, it will help a lot. Last summer, he still took part in eye-popping dramas. He scaled the wall to run the house in Atlanta. He threw 288 feet from the deep center to the first base on the flight to complete the double game. There were signs of his defensive greatness.

Although the Rubles scene was so minimal that he was charging for so many pop-ups, a few steps later, he was seen descending somewhere between himself, Soto and the shorts top turner. The routine became difficult in 2020. It looked the worst in 2019, when Rubles’ gloves, arm and speed – and sometimes concealed – hid the outfielder to its left and right.

There is evidence of this. Signing the Schwarzenegger could mean citizens see it happen again.

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