LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Braves general manager Frank Wren raised some eyebrows with this comment Saturday to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “At the end of the day, I don’t think errors contribute a great deal to losses.”
It was in response to a question about defensive concerns with the Braves, who made 126 errors last season, one shy of the National League high. They have since added Dan Uggla, whose 34 errors in 2009-2010 were tops among major league second baseman.
Wren sought Tuesday to “finish his thought” on the subject of defense.
“We think we are better in a couple positions for sure, that being first base [with Freddie Freeman], which will in turn make our infielders better with the additional saves he will make on errant throws and his play in general, and in left field with Martin Prado.
“We should be better in center field with Nate [McLouth] full-time versus the different faces we used there last year, though [Rick] Ankiel was very good at the end.
Wren continued, “We do believe Dan Uggla is better than his critics allege and I tend to rely on the evaluation of his manager and bench coach from last year [Fredi Gonzalez and Carlos Tosca, who are now with the Braves in those same roles] that watched him everyday.
“Good teams do not give their opponent extra outs, period. My point that was not completely stated was this: we don’t believe our defense will be a liability and should be better than last year. We are going to make errors, but that won’t be the overriding reason for our success or failure ultimately.”