Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Mlb_may_17_6a4b

As both managing editor Dave Cameron and large swaths of the internet have noted, outfielder Shane Victorino has been traded by the Phillies to the Dodgers. Despite the fact that he’s probably a superior defender to Matt Kemp, it’s unlikely that Victorino will push the incumbent Kemp to left field. (This is what’s known in legal terms as the Derek Jeter Precedent.)

It stands to reason that, owing to how Bobby Abreu has played a considerable amount of left field for the Dodgers this season, that installing Victorino has the club’s full-time left fielder will make a not-insignificant contribution merely in terms of runs saved over the Dodgers’ final 58 games of the regular season.

“How much of a difference, though?” the curious reader might be wondering. “This much of one,” the irresponsible author is now answering, in the form of the following, mostly haphazard calculations.

To estimate the hypothetical distribution of playing time in a Victorino-less left field over the next 58 games, I’ve simply used the distribution of left-field starts over the Dodgers’ first 104 games (using Baseball Reference’s very helpful defensive lineups page). To calculate “true talent” defensive-runs estimates (Def/150), I’ve aggregated (haphazardly, of course) a number of defensive metrics (UZR, DRS, TZ) from recent years. In cases — like with Jerry Hairston, or with Victorino himself — where a player’s left-field defensive sample is smallish, I’ve looked at other outfield defensive numbers and adjusted for a move to left utilizing the defensive positional adjustments used in calculating WAR.

Here’s what we find, using that same haphazard methodology, the Dodgers producing defensively from a left-field arrangement that doesn’t include Victorino:


Player Def/150 % Games LF Runs Bobby Abreu -8 40% -1.2 Juan Rivera 0 22% 0.0 Tony Gwynn 20 13% 1.0 Jerry Hairston 8 12% 0.4 Other 0 13% 0.0 TOTAL — 100% 0.1

And now here’s Victorino by himself:


Player Def/150 % Games LF Runs Shane Victorino 12 100% 4.6

Haphazard Conclusion: Victorino is worth something close between four or five extra runs — or, roughly half a win — defensively over the final third of the season.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul Pierce: Computers to blame for lack of NBA trash talk

Darrelle Revis: I don’t feel sorry for Jets fans

A recent history of Super Bowl injury hullabaloo

DeflateGate football could fetch $50K at auction

Father and son allegedly attack coach over playing time

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The AFC North will regress in 2015

Doug Baldwin bringing 'sunblock' to Revis Island

Will the first-round running back return in 2015?

Robert Kraft: Richard Sherman is a 'marketing whiz'

Rob Gronkowski's party bus headed to Super Bowl

Matt Barnes not happy with NBA for $25,000 fine

Keys to victory for the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Grandpa: Marshawn would retire rather than deal with media

Ten best teams that didn't make the Super Bowl

Ranking the NBA’s Coach of the Year candidates

WATCH: Zach Parise picks up his tooth off the ice

Crosby's name misspelled as 'Sindey' on Penguins program

Joe Biden blows off Olivia Munn to talk to Aaron Rodgers

James Shields need to adjust his contract expectations

Kurt Warner wonders about Patriots cheating in Super Bowl

4-star QB recruit decommits from Michigan

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Pacquiao, Mayweather meet at halftime of Heat game

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Super Bowl XLIX: Key people to know

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

Bill Simmons fires a shot at Ray Lewis

NFL pushing CFP to change schedule

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.