Let’s Turn Two

**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 9/10/12**

It’s become a tired cliché this season. You know what I’m talking about: The Michael Young GIDP. Sitting there watching him do it again on Friday night for the 22nd time this season I wondered just how the Texas Rangers fared on both sides of the ball when it comes to the double play.
On Offense

The Rangers rank 18th in baseball with an average of 0.74 GIDP per game which is down from 0.82 last season. So Texas is actually grounding into fewer, though it may not seem like it. The worst team in baseball is the Detroit Tigers with 0.96 per game. The best at 0.57 is the Seattle Mariners.

On Defense

Defensively the Rangers turn 0.84 double plays per game which is down from 2011 when they averaged 1.00 per game. That ranks them sixteenth in baseball. The best team at turning two? The Minnesota Twins at 1.17 per game. The worst? The San Diego Padres at 0.60.

Individually

Before I get to the Rangers I thought I would point out that with over 450 at-bats this season Alejandro De Aza of the Chicago White Sox is the only player in baseball to have not grounded into a double play this season. As far as the Rangers go the player with the fewest GIDP is David Murphy with four. Next is Nelson Cruz with six. Adrian Beltre , Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland are tied with eight apiece followed by Geovany Soto (9),  Ian Kinsler (12) and Elvis Andrus (13). Craig Gentry only has three but he also has way fewer at bats.

And yes, the worst number on the team belongs to Michael Young and his 23 GIDP’s. His career worst was 27 in 2006.

Now, looking at the overall picture you see that Texas ranks in the middle on both offense and defense amongst the thirty teams. And I know that they say defense and pitching wins championships but if you look at the top sixteen teams in baseball on defense in regards to GIDP you’ll find that only six are legitimate playoff contenders (Tampa Bay, Atlanta, St. Louis, Baltimore, Los Angeles Angels and Texas) The worst playoff contender: The Cincinnati Reds who rank 29th in GIDP.

One more thing to consider is runners left on base. As stated before, Texas is 18th in GIDP per game. They rank 20th in LOB with an average of 14.24 runners per game. That number is actually down from last season though very slightly. It was 14.61 in 2011. And how about RISP? You might think that they are at the bottom of the rankings there but they’re actually 11th with 3.44 per game. Also down from last season (3.56). And finally there is runs per game where Texas leads all of baseball with an average of 5.10. The Yankees are second at 4.85.

So taking all things into consideration you see that Texas is hitting into fewer double plays, leaving less men on base and leaving fewer runners in scoring position than last season, all while leading baseball in run production. And while we will all groan when we see another GIDP I think it’s safe to say that this team is going to be okay.

I would like to thank the good people at teamrankings.com and fangraphs.com for the endless supply of stats.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shut Down Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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