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The Wang Effect

SG has a really interesting post up at The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog discussing the Wang Effect, in which the Yankees fielded much better in the games Wang started than in the games he didn't.

Of especial interest to me is our shortstop.  In games Wang didn't start he posted a horrible Zone Rating, making 25 fewer plays than the average shortstop.
But in Wang's starts Jeter was nearly average, making only one fewer play than the average shortstop.

My first impulse was to conclude "Well, the fielders are more alert with more balls in play, plus Wang works quickly."

But SG points out that everyone on the left side (even Matsui) improved in Wang's starts.  Only Giambi was especially ineffective when Wang took the mound, and that's where the stats start telling us something.

In 21 innings of games Wang started Giambi had 7 chances and made 4 plays.  In 100 Wang-less innings, Giambi had 19 chances and made 17 plays.  Now this has small sample size written all over it, but it could be that more hard hit balls go to right- especially if Wang is pitching poorly.

In an effort to confirm this I looked over both of Wang's postseason starts (which were worse than any two starts he made all season).  The Tribe collected 7 hits to right field, 5 to center, and 2 to left.