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Scioscia says defense not doing its part

Scioscia says defense not doing its part

ANAHEIM -- While much has been made about the Angels' struggles offensively this season, manager Mike Scioscia also said he's not happy with his club's defense this year either.

Scioscia said the poor defense has been hurting the pitching staff, as he feels that the club's 4.43 ERA, which is ranked fourth to last in the American League, is misleading because too many balls in play aren't being turned into outs.

His assertion has been backed by both traditional defensive metrics and advanced ones, as the club ranks 17th in the Majors in fielding percentage and 25th in Ultimate Zone Rating or UZR, which measures a fielder's success at getting to balls determined to be in his "zone" of the playing field.

"Part of it does rest on the offense, but there are many things that have gone wrong out there on the defensive side which have contributed to where we are," Scioscia said. "If you look at our starting pitchers' ERA it's in the bottom four or five in the league, which is mind-boggling because if you watch them on a daily basis they look they're performing very well. We're not supporting them on the defensive side like we need to."

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