By Jon Weisman
Some strong up-and-down hitting and exciting pitching performances have grabbed the early spotlight for the Dodgers in Cactus League play, but there’s another pleasing small-sample development to note.
In 45 innings so far, the Dodgers have made only one error.
Errors aren’t everything — you also want to make more of the plays that don’t count as errors — but in general, the first five games give you a hint of what it means for the Dodgers to have increasingly valued in defense in 2015. Fewer errors misplays mean fewer runs and fewer pitches.
If you’re looking for a more advanced small-sample barometer, there’s this: According to MLB.com, the Dodgers currently are No. 1 in baseball in Defensive Efficency Ratio.
Defensive Efficiency Ratio is the rating of team defensive outs recorded in defensive opportunities. To determine Defensive Efficiency Ratio for a team, divide the total number of hits in play allowed (subtracting home runs and times reached on error) by the total number of defensive opportunities (all balls hit into play, not including home runs), and subtract from one: 1-(((H+ROE)-HR)/(PA-(SO+HBP+HR)))
So who made the error? It was former Gold Glover Darwin Barney, playing shortstop on Thursday rather than his usual second base.