Removed this conversation from the Bartlett thread...
Bartlett's UZR has taken quite the plunge the last couple years but is Bartlett or Longoria to blame?
One thing that I noticed when looking at the 2009 UZR numbers is the apparent inverse relationship between the Top 3B and the SS that takes the field next to them.
Looking the top 7 from 2009 we have the following pairs (the top 7 have posted numbers clearly above the rest)
2009 Top 7 3B and SS rating
Evan Longoria 15.5________________Jason Bartlett -4.0
Ryan Zimmerman 15.5_____________Christian Guzman -5.2
Jack Hannahan 12.1_______________Orlando Cabrera -11.4
Joe Crede 10.9___________________Nick Punto 0.8
Adrian Beltre 9.5__________________Yuniesky Bentancourt -18.8
Brandon Inge 9.5_________________Adam Everett 0.5
Chone Figgins 11.2_______________Erick Aybar 2.1
Lets look at positional ranks of 3B and SS: (3B first, then SS based on UZR rank)
1 – 28
2 – 29
3 – 31
4 – 19
5 – 32
6 – 21
7 – 15
8 – 7
9 – 2
10 – 4
The first seven seem to show a strong inverse relationship then it just disappears.
I quickly pulled up the 2008 numbers and the relationship isn't nearly as strong. (Only ranked 27 3B and 29 SS based on sample)
Lets look at Orlando Cabrera. He has been the second worst SS this year based on UZR. He's at -11.4 this year. In 2008, however, he was the second best rated SS at +14. This year he has played most of the season with Jack Hannahan next to him and Hannahan has been one of the absolute best 3B the past two years. However, in 2008 he played next to Joe Crede who has been pretty good himself.
I'm surprised that this research hasn't been done in the past and that's the main purpose for posting this. My basic hypothesis would be that certain 3B can strongly affect the SS next to them and would guess that is the case with Longoria.