The Mets' glaring deficiency

If New York doesn't fix its defensive weak links, October hope will fade

Updated: July 16, 2012, 11:58 AM ET
By Paul Swydan | FanGraphs
Lucas DudaAP Photo/Luis M. AlvarezLucas Duda hasn't performed well in defensive metrics since debuting in the big leagues.

This week marks the 11th straight in which the New York Mets have been in the top half of the ESPN Power Rankings -- they are 13th this week. The Mets have hung around because they have hit and pitched well. But the third element, defense, has held them back, particularly on the right side, and it may cost the Mets a chance to move from being a top-15 team to a top-10 team, which is what New York will need to become if it wants a realistic shot at reaching the postseason this year.

Bad defense isn't anything new for the Metropolitans -- this season marks the third time in four years that they have been among the five worst defensive teams in the majors in UZR. Last season, they ranked last in UZR, and this year, they're among three teams at the bottom separated by a tiny margin, an indication that they are as bad on defense as any team.

But unlike last season, when nearly all of the team's regulars posted a negative UZR, this season's poor play has been centralized to two players who shifted positions to accommodate Ike Davis.


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