In theory, a defender's total chances represent the number of opportunities he has to record an out. The formula for total chances is: assists plus putouts plus errors.
The use of the statistic is almost exclusively limited to its role as the denominator for determining fielding percentage. The biggest flaw with total chances is that it doesn't account for difficult defensive plays that get made. For instance, a diving catch that is made by a defender counts as a "chance," but if that same play falls in for a hit, it doesn't count as a "chance" for that defender.
Watch: Alex Rios makes a catch in right field, increasing his total chances by one.
In A Call
"defensive chances," "chances"