MLB MLB Playoffs

Every 2013 MLB Playoff Team’s Biggest Liability on Defense

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Each MLB Playoff Team's Biggest Liability On Defense

Each MLB Playoff Team's Biggest Liability On Defense
Charles Leclaire-USA TODAY Sports

In professional sports, there is a common saying that has existed now for many years. That saying is, “defense wins championships.” In baseball, that saying may hold the most weight. Given the fact that baseball is the ultimate team sport, every player must be able to work together, communicate effectively across the diamond and avoid crucial fielding miscues.

Despite that fact, every year a handful of players consistently turn routine plays into brutal errors, hurting their respective teams in the process. In the MLB Postseason, this ineffectiveness in the field tends to rear its ugly head with no exception.

As a primary follower of the Boston Red Sox, an example that comes to my mind is the ground ball that went through Bill Buckner’s legs in 1986 that cost the team a World Series ring. In any case, fielding can make or break a team in the postseason.

For the purposes of this article, I have chosen to take a look at each of the 2013 playoff teams, breaking down each of their biggest liabilities when it comes to fielding.

If you disagree with any of the following points I am about to make, or you think there is a name that should be added or omitted, I would strongly encourage you to express your own opinion on the matter in the “comments” section down below.

I will start with the Red sox and their second-year third baseman Will Middlebrooks, after which I will make my way through the rest of the AL to the NL.

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10. Will Middlebrooks-Boston Red Sox

Will Middlebrooks-Red Sox
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Middlebrooks has struggled since entering the league on the defensive side. This year was no different. Throughout the regular season in just 89 games played, he has made 10 errors. If you prorate that through the entire season, that means that he would have made approximately 19 errors during the year, or an error every eight and a half games roughly.

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9. Lonnie Chisenhall-Cleveland Indians

Lonnie Chisenhall-Cleveland Indians
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Lonnie Chisenhall has had a very similar year defensively to Middlebrooks. In just 83 games this season, he has committed nine errors at third base. If he had played the whole year, he would have made 17 miscues, which comes out to roughly an error every nine games. He is a tremendous liability defensively and is one to keep an eye on come playoff time.

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8. Omar Infante-Detroit Tigers

Omar Infante-Detroit Tigers
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout his career, he has been the definition of a defensive liability. He has consistently committed double-digit errors in his 12 years of service. Unfortunately for him, as he has gotten older, he seems to be adding to those totals quite a bit. So far this year in 116 games, he has committed 10 errors, which would equate to around 15 errors in a full year and roughly an error every 11 games.

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7. Jed Lowrie-Oakland Athletics

Jed Lowrie-Oakland A's
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jed Lowrie has been another defensive disappointment this year. Although he has played in 155 out of a possible 162 games this year, he has had his fair share of errors during that time. He has had 18 miscues total for roughly one error every eight games.

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6. Evan Longoria-Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria-Tampa Bay Rays
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Longoria is a very talented player who broke the 30 home run plateau this year. Unfortunately, there is still one major flaw to his game, his fielding. Longoria has made 11 errors this season in 142 games or an error every 14 games. While those numbers are not horrible, he still leads his team in miscues and is the likeliest candidate to make a mistake defensively in the postseason.

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5. Chris Johnson-Atlanta Braves

Chris Johnson-Atlanta Braves
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

This choice was a bit tougher for biggest defensive liability for the Atlanta Braves as they have plenty of error-prone players. However, I chose Chris Johnson because he has 13 errors in less games than anyone else, just 136. That comes out to roughly an error every 10 games at the hot corner.

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4. Zack Cozart-Cincinnati Reds

Zack Cozart-Cincinnati Reds
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Cozart has also been a liability defensively in 2013. In 145 games played, he has committed 14 errors, which would translate to 16 errors if he had played in every game this year. He averaged roughly an error every 10 games this year for a team that is pretty sure-handed in the field.

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3. Hanley Ramirez-Los Angeles Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez-Los Angeles Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley Ramirez, for all of his talents, has never been considered a gold-glove shortstop. He was far from it in the 2013 regular season as he committed 13 errors in just 77 games. If you extend that number out to a full 162-game season, he would have made a whopping 27 errors, averaging roughly one error every five games.

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2. Pedro Alvarez-Pittsburgh Pirates

Pedro Alvarez-Pittsburgh Pirates
Cary Edmonson-USA TODAY Sports

Pedro Alvarez is another guy that has been tough to watch in the field this season. In 146 games played during the 2013 regular season, he has 27 errors. If you figure in a full 162 game season, he would have made over 30, but it hardly matters when you have that many miscues. He averages an error roughly every five games and is among the worst defenders in baseball.

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1. Daniel Descalso-St. Louis Cardinals

Daniel Descalso-St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Humphries-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps saving the best for last, (or worst for last depending on your perspective) Daniel Descalso made 14 errors in 76 games during the regular season, which would have been around the same number as Alvarez, in the 30 range. He is a huge defensive liability who is among the worst fielders in baseball.