Now Commenting On:

Defensive miscues piling up for Rays

Defensive miscues piling up for Rays

Defensive miscues piling up for Rays
PHILADELPHIA -- Entering Sunday afternoon's day-night doubleheader, the Rays had 61 errors -- second most in the Major Leagues and only 12 fewer than they made all of last year.

A year ago at this time, the Rays had 32 errors and did not commit their 61st error until Sept. 2 (137th game). Currently, they are on pace for a club-record 141 errors.

"[The defense has] been unsettled, there's no question," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We're trying to balance it out based on the other team's pitchers, based on our pitchers defensively, where the ground balls may go. Based on our pitcher, the kind of hitters they have, you try to put your strongest guy there defensively.

"... For the most part, our record is still pretty good, in spite of all of our defensive mistakes -- which we're not used to. ... If there's one component of the game I think would maintain, in spite of whatever, we have good athletes out there who would normally play good defense. But we haven't."

Maddon has constantly noted that the way this year's Rays have fielded is not in their "DNA," and that he keeps looking for the trend to turn around. When asked if he was concerned that his team was indeed "that team" that makes costly errors, the Rays' manager could not deny how his team has played.

"We have been that team," Maddon said. "We have been that team, and we have to shake it. A whole lot of it is the residue of a lot of different people in spots that weren't necessarily going to be there as often as they are, as per Spring Training."

An old baseball saying points out that defense does not go into slumps. The Rays seem set on disproving that notion.

"Andrew [Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations] and I were just talking about that," Maddon said. "You always would think that, but our defense definitely has slumped this year."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español