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Throw the Ball Better
2003-11-20 08:50
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

There are many who watched Adrian Beltre this year who believe that he is the best-fielding third baseman in the game. But with Beltre's 19 errors in 2003, it's a challenge to make the case.

How can such a good-looking player rack up so many miscues? Follow-through.

Of Beltre's 19 errors, 12 came on throws. In fact, Four of Beltre's 12 throwing errors came on plays in which the batter was awarded an infield single, but took second on a desperate throw by Beltre.

If Beltre can make his arm more consistent - and to be sure, he completes the spectacular pass on the run much more than he doesn't - he can knock his errors down to single digits.

In general, the 2003 Dodgers could have used more target practice. Just over half of Dodger errors this year came on throws. If you include the seven dropped throws, the total is 56 percent.

What follows is a chart detailing each of the Dodgers 119 errors in 2003: who made them, how they made them, and when they made them. Following the chart, you'll find a few more random Dodger errata.

Pos.PlayerTotal ErrorsGroundersFliesThrowingDropped Throws
CLo Duca15----4/1, 4/4, 4/7, 4/19, 4/23, 5/7, 5/13, 5/16, 5/20, 5/30, 6/15, 7/29, 9/3, 9/249/1
CRoss4--7/57/17, 7/23, 8/2--
CHundley1----5/2--
1BMcGriff85/2, 5/10, 6/136/54/6, 6/125/27, 5/28
1BVentura2------8/19, 8/27
1BLo Duca14/13------
1BWard14/1------
2BCora154/6, 4/18, 5/22, 5/31, 9/7, 9/10, 9/195/224/18, 5/2, 6/28, 6/29, 8/20, 8/26, 9/28--
2BCabrera18/13------
2BThurston19/6------
3BBeltre194/2, 5/20, 6/21, 7/17, 7/22, 7/24, 9/11--4/3, 4/6, 4/10, 5/12, 5/22, 5/29, 7/2, 7/5, 7/24, 8/22, 8/31, 9/28--
3BVentura18/5------
3BKinkade1----4/22--
SSIzturis164/18, 5/10, 6/14, 6/15, 7/10, 9/5, 9/6, 9/14, 9/19, 9/27--4/7, 7/26, 8/3, 8/14, 9/77/3
SSCabrera26/18, 9/26------
LFBurnitz39/68/199/25--
LFKinkade34/29, 5/29--7/2--
LFHenderson18/24------
LFCrosby15/30------
CFRoberts54/23, 8/2, 8/94/228/13--
CFCabrera25/30--5/1--
CFBurnitz27/18, 7/20------
CFJordan15/28------
RFGreen5--4/77/8, 8/24, 9/5, 9/27--
PBrown3----7/19, 7/30, 8/24--
PMota2----7/209/5
PDreifort1----4/28--
PNomo1----6/20--
PPerez1----6/8--
--Total119466607

Notes:

  • Paul Lo Duca made 10 throwing errors in the first two months, four in the last four months. Of course, he played some outfield and first base in the summer.

  • Alex Cora did not mishandle a ground ball in June, July and August.

  • Cesar Izturis made five errors on ground balls in September, the same amount he had made in the previous five months.

  • Dodger outfielders dropped only three fly balls, but mishandled 12 balls on the ground. They made four errors on outfielder grounders between May 28-30.

  • Shawn Green had four of the eight throwing errors by Dodger outfielders.

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