Upon further review Alejandro De Aza gets a pass for what was perceived to be his most recent defensive blunder.
The White Sox coaching staff reviewed on-field communication with players during Thursday’s pre-game stretch after yet another miscue on Wednesday night. But whereas De Aza initially took the blame for racing in and colliding with Alexei Ramirez, the White Sox coaching staff said the shortstop should have conceded.
The play in question occurred in the top of the third inning when De Aza and Ramirez collided in shallow left field on Rajai Davis’ pop up. Ramirez quickly retrieved the ball in time to get a force play at second, which rendered the miscue harmless.
“It will happen with a guy, especially a shortstop who is in charge of the infield, who doesn’t want to give way,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He needs to understand that anytime an outfielder calls him off he needs to get out of the way. They need to understand that they need to peel off and let the outfielder get it. They have that responsibility.”
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De Aza has received a lot of criticism for his mistakes, whether it’s defense or running the bases.
But overall numbers indicate De Aza is a better left fielder than he is given credit for. De Aza has three Defensive Runs Saved per fangraphs.com, which ranks ninth among the 30 major leaguers who have played at least 200 innings in left field this season. He also has a 1.8 Ultimate Zone Rating, which also ranks ninth of 30.
So while De Aza has made several costly mistakes this season, the magnitude of those errors has created a perception of far worse defense than has been played.