Chicago Cubs: Defense, defense, and more defense
The advantage Addison Russell holds over Daniel Murphy is defense. Russell has a phenomenal glove and has posted a career 58 Defensive Runs Saved over the course of his career. While a majority of that time has been spent at shortstop, Russell still has a career 9 DRS over the span of 746 innings while at second base.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Regarding his UZR/150, which is the best metric that exists to measure defensive efficiency, Russell has a career 7.5. His UZR/150 is much lower this season. However, he is still in the positives, giving his otherwise unproductive season, a silver lining.
On the complete opposite side, exists Daniel Murphy’s glove, or lack thereof. While Murphy has a bat superior to Russell, his glove is far from reliable, and it has displayed throughout his career. Second base has been the staple position for Murphy, as he has registered over six-thousand innings at the position. In that span, however, Murphy has a career -76 DRS and a -5.8 UZR/150, including a -18.9 rating in just this year alone.
While it is true that offense is a critical component of a championship winning franchise, it should be noted that the Chicago Cubs finished first overall in defense in 2016, their World Championship winning season, which helps Maddon find an ability to pivot to Russell at points to fulfill the defensive needs of the club.