Johnny Damon’s deficient arm
Anyway, last season, in left field, Johnny Damon’s 36-year old throwing arm was 4.2 runs below average. Damon’s negative mark was the lowest arm rating of any regular outfielder in the American League, except for… wait for it… Nick Swisher’s -4.3 grade. However, whereas Swisher’s outfield arm rating was more likely the result of errant and inaccurate throws earlier in the season (Swisher later worked on the issue with Dave Eiland and he seemed to improve), Damon’s rating was simply an indication of just how feeble his arm is and will continue to be as he ages.
I honestly think it – the arm – is one of the primary reasons teams are concerned about his defense and have chosen to shy away from him this winter. His overall range in 2009 wasn’t that bad – RngR of -3.7 – but it was the limp appendage he calls his left arm that mainly contributed to his -9.2 UZR (there are three components used to compile FanGraphs’ UZR totals, including arm runs, range runs, and error runs).
Original photo via La Prensa