May 30, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) catches a Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (not pictured) grounder during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated the Texas Rangers 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
When Adam LaRoche was on the disabled list, the Washington Nationals didn’t only miss his bat in the lineup. LaRoche is one of the most reliable first basemen in baseball, as his ability to scoop the ball out of the dirt and complete outs at first makes him extremely valuable.
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He showed that ability off on Friday night, as Ian Desmond made a great play to get to the ball in the hole at short before making an unspectacular throw to try and nab the speedy Elvis Andrus at first.
Watch below to find out.
Desmond hasn’t been very reliable with the glove this season. He has already made 13 errors and owns a fielding percentage of .937. Those aren’t great ways to judge a defender, though.
FanGraphs states that he has a DRS (defensive runs saved) of negative-6—which is very bad. There are two other stats that mark him worse, however—UZR and UZR/150.
But, first, here is a brief explanation of UZR from FanGraphs:
"The theory behind UZR is tougher to intuitively grasp than Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), but the simplified version is that UZR puts a run value to defense, attempting to quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up through their fielding prowess (or lack thereof)."
Desmond’s UZR is negative-4.5. His UZR/150 is negative-21.7. Those numbers are just horrible.
Luckily for Desmond, he has LaRoche over at first to help him out from time to time.