{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Rays' reliable defense reaching record status

Rays' reliable defense reaching record status

|
Rays' reliable defense reaching record status

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have always prided themselves on defense, but the 2013 team may be good enough to be headed for the record books.

Through 131 games, Tampa Bay's 48 errors are the second fewest in Major League history -- behind the Orioles, who have just 39. Both teams are on pace to break the all-time record set by the 2003 Mariners, who had just 65 errors.

"Everybody is always going to focus on the team's offense because it's cool to do that, but we're only here because of our pitching and defense," manager Joe Maddon said. "You can't separate one from the other. They're good at the same time, and they help one another. That's who we are. We hit the jackpot regarding our acquisitions at shorstop and first base. [Ben] Zobrist has played his best second base, and [Evan Longoria] has been really good. We're pitching well because our defense has been outstanding."

Maddon has managed some impressive fielding teams since taking over in 2006, but he thinks this could be his best yet, and the numbers agree. The franchise record of 73 errors in a season was set in 2011. The Rays are on pace for just 59.

"I've seen us really good, but I have not seen us this good," Maddon said. "Part of being this good is making the routine play routinely. The spectacular play has been made, but a lot of it plays into our positioning and the work we do in advance to get the guys in the right spots. All of those things have led us to our great defensive year."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
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