Like Ibanez, Victorino and Werth have both made more plays in the outfield so far in 2009 than they did in 2008. Victorino has made putouts in center at a slightly higher rate while Werth has made putouts in right at a much higher rate (all numbers for this post do not include last night’s game):
You would certainly expect that Victorino, the center fielder, would be making putouts at a higher rate than Werth has as a right fielder. That has not been the case through the first 30 games, though. Werth’s rate has been higher.
When you compare the team’s range factor per nine innings at each of the positions to the rest of the league, the Phils are improved at both but below average at center field for 2009 and above average for right field for 2009. In 2008, they were below league average at both positions:
|NL AVG CF||2.65||2.78|
|NL AVG RF||2.13||2.15|
So the Phillies have been below the average in center field in both 2008 and 2009, .18 lower in ’08 and .23 lower in the first 30 games of ’09. In right field they were .08 lower in ’08, but are well (.47) above the average rate for the league in 2009.
The curious thing about this is that the amount of plays that Victorino, a guy most Phillies fans at least consider to be an excellent defensive center fielder, isn’t especially impressive. This may have something to do with Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies pitchers, trying to shade towards left to help Burrell out or other factors, but it’s made more curious by the fact that Werth got to far more balls per inning while he was playing center field in 2008 than Victorino did (and got to them at a rate that exceeded league averages for the position). Werth made 73 putouts in 233 1/3 innings for the Phils in center in 2008, which is .313 per inning and much higher than Victorino’s rate of .263 per inning (314 in 1,195 1/3 innings).