Tommy La Stella moved left to glove a grounder, fielded the ball cleanly, and threw to Anthony Rizzo. It looked like a typical MLB play, but the speed at which 3 AM made it resulted in Herman Perez beating out the routine grounder during Sunday’s sweeping loss. These sorts of play were turned into outs consistently during last year’s World Series run and this further highlights just how special the Cubs’ infield is defensively when Addison Russell is healthy.
But Russell isn’t healthy. And La Stella, though he’s hitting the ball well this year, is not and has never been a good defensive player. In fact, the metrics actually despise the lefty batter.
La Stella’s career UZR/150 (per 150 chances) at third base is -15.4. In other words, he’s one of the worst third basemen in MLB. At his normal position of second base, he’s a little better (yet still below average) -3.7 UZR/150 fielder.