Brown Glove for Wells?
First the good news. In a recap of the advanced fielding stats for the season over at The Baseball Analysts, Scott Rolen comes up as the second-best fielder in the game, saving a whopping 23.8 runs over average to make his power outage seem a lot more palatable for the two years:
Utley, Phi 25.0 Rolen, Tor 23.8 Beltre, Sea 21.8 Ellis, Oak 18.3
It should also set up an interesting gold glove award – do they give it to the incumbent (as usual), or the guy with the amazing reputation? (as usual) At least for once the only two serious candidates are going to agree with reality and it’s a toss-up between the two.
Of course we already knew that about Rolen. He’s flat-out inhuman out there. But now for the bad news. According to the same way of looking at things that pegged that one, Vernon Wells has been the second worst defender in the league this season:
Abreu, NYA -27.5 Wells, Tor -21.9 Jacobs, Fla -17.9 Encarnacion,Cin -15.9
And that’s despite playing way fewer innings than Bobby Abreu – if they were equal, Vernon would be at -33.9, and thus the worst defender of his position in the league. That seems a little strong, but these metrics aren’t totally out to lunch (if you look down the rest of the list most of the best and worst make sense). I think it’s more a mix of denial and good memories that make me distrust anything indicating he’s lost a step and is a below-average CF than anything he’s done out there this season. +/- (from Billjamesonline.net) also agrees that Vernon has been slowing down and then absolutely fallen off a cliff this season: