Why Brett Carroll?


I missed this bit of news last week regarding Brett Carroll. I ask you why? FishStripes regular Dan 2.0 explains it best:

"The positional adjustment in right field is -7.5 runs. Being modest, Carroll is a +10 run defensive player in right. That means he could stand to be -2.5 runs at the plate and still be a league average player. That’s roughly a .295 wOBA. Going into the year, his projected wOBA’s were anywhere from .298 to .313; in actuality he has produced a .324 and his updated ZiPS projection is now .311.All of which goes to say that everything we know about Brett Carroll right now suggests he is a league average player overall. Not replacement level; league average."

As he mentions afterward, he was a bit off on the wOBA calculation for runs, but the point remains the same. Carroll passes the eye test as a very good corner outfielder. He likely wouldn’t be a terrible center fielder as well, but that is beside the point. The Marlins front office has once again decided against Carroll despite his excellent defense in the outfield. Even if Carroll isn’t a +36.3 UZR/150 in the outfield like his currently small sample size states, it would be fair to assume him to be somewhere around +10 runs, meaning he’d have to have a .320 wOBA to be an average player.

Sure, is he likely to get that? Probably not. But for a fourth outfielder, you could do a lot worse. And for what he was always being used for, he would certainly meet the capacity. Check out the production differences between two Marlins outfielders.

Carroll: -0.1 bRAA, +11.5 fRAA, 1.2 WAR
Jeremy Hermida: -0.5 bRAA, -9.0 fRAA, -0.1 WAR

Most readers probably don’t need me to tell them that Jeremy has been terrible in the outfield and “meh” on offense. In truth, they’re probably at about the same level right now, just in different ways. Which leads me to question why Hermida is still in the lineup, even after seeing basically three and a half season of this kind of play. It’s looking increasingly like Hermida is a replacement level player at a corner outfield position, which is simply unacceptable for the Marlins to be fielding.

Let’s hope Carroll has a chance to come back up to the big leagues once the Marlins realize they need to play defense. Of all the players they’ve run out there this season, he’s been the clear best player on defense as far as the “eye test” is concerned.

That being said, if I had to choose between the two, I’d take Cameron Maybin. Is that fair for me to say?