The SABR Defensive Index (SDI) is not just some new wave gobbledygook that can be brushed off as irrelevant. The calculation of Major League Baseball player defensive value by position is used for an important purpose. It is weighted at 25 percent of the annual Gold Glove Award voting, with managers and coaches carrying the rest. (SDI background can be viewed here.)
With that in mind, let’s look at how several St. Louis Cardinals are faring in the most recent update of the SDI, for the 2015 season through September 13.
With an SDI of 10.2, Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward leads his position and is fifth overall in the National League. At 6.5, Yadier Molina is the next-highest ranked Cardinal, third among catchers and 20th overall in the NL.
Though he has been the Cardinals’ most dependable pitcher, it is safe to speculate that John Lackey will not be winning a Gold Glove this season. His SDI is dead last among 43 NL pitching qualifiers. (Jaime Garcia is not listed.)
Here is a subset of the National League rankings by position. (Full details here.) Note that Heyward is the only Cardinals outfielder ranked.
|Pos rank||NL pitchers||Tm||SDI|
|43 (last)||John Lackey||StL||-4.5|
|NL first base|
|NL second base|
|NL third base|
|NL left field|
|NL center field|
|NL right field|
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