Mark Weidemaier has been added to the Nationals coaching staff by Matt Williams, to serve as the defensive coordinator and advance coach. All this means is that the Nationals are going to be messing around with shifts and other types of advanced metrics to try to play a little bit better defense.
This is a great thing to do, now with all the information out there to use. According to Beyond the Box Score Major League teams shifted over 7,000 times last season, compared to just under 2,500 in 2010. That is a huge jump and seems to be working… Or has it? That is the major question still to be answered at a later date.
For right now the Nationals have trust in Weidemaier to make this team better defensively. If that is by a major shift in the infield or just by moving a player a couple feet against a certain hitter, outs are outs and we all love getting them. A lot of players on the Nationals last season had a negative defensive WAR. That will be fixed hopefully with this coaching addition. I will have a future post in the next couple of days expressing why defensive coordinators are great for the game of baseball and why it will help out the Nats’ in 2014.