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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Will Carroll is on Crack

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Will Carroll writes:
The Cardinals continue to work on a deal for an outfielder. The latest discussions involve Brian Giles coming to the Cardinals in return for Jason Marquis. That part would be easy enough, so if this deal gets held up, it will be over minor details of money and additional prospects.
That part would be easy enough? That's a terrible trade for the Padres. Why trade the most productive outfielder in the Majors this season for Jason Marquis? Even if you don't re-sign a guy like Gilly, you get draft picks (See: David Wells and Cesar Ramos). Trading Giles smells a lot like giving up, but at this point it's hard to know what to make of things. Portland could win the NL West at this point and the playoffs remain a crapshoot. Perhaps the idea is that the Padres can win the West w/o Gilly and that Marquis increases your odds of stealing a game in the playoffs. I'm not seeing it, though.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Padres Deal Nevin for Park?

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Will Carroll "reports":
Friday, July 29, 7:55 p.m. ET: Jamey Newberg reports that the Rangers have dealt Chan Ho Park to the Padres for Phil Nevin. Nevin does not hold no-trade rights to Texas, though Park does have some sort of no-trade provision in his contract. Park was pulled from his start in Toronto.
Rangers to Deal Park for Nevin according to MLB.com, too.

Chan Ho Park, 2005 (ERA is of the Davenport Translated variety)
ERA: 5.14
IP: 109.7
K/BB: 1.48 (80/54)
K/PA: .159
K/9: 6.56
BB/9: 4.43
HR/9: 0.66
BABIP: .329

Even his DT ERA is high, but his DIPS is 26th in the AL. His BABIP is high and he should expect it to drop about 20 points pitching in front of the Padres' defense (.691 Def_Eff). I think I'd rather have Park than Ponson and I was in favor of the previous trade, so I guess I like this one, too. Park is owed a ton of money, though. More this year and more next than either Ponson or Nevin. I wonder how that's being handled.

Because Dex Thinks My Lineups Weren't Based on Stats












































C vs. LHP vs. RHP Rate2 LNRAA RNRAA
Ross -0.379 -0.105 106 -31.9 -4.5
Nevin -0.06 -0.047 101 -5 -3.7
Fick 0.225 0.057 72 -5.5 -22.3
1B          
Nady 0.359 0.009 100 35.9 0.9
Blum -0.142 -0.007 100 -14.2 -0.7
Sweeney -0.174 0.341 99 -18.4 33.1
Nevin -0.06 -0.047 95 -11 -9.7
Fick 0.225 0.057 90 12.5 -4.3
2B          
Loretta 0.026 0.023 107 9.6 9.3
Jackson 0.13 -0.028 105 18 2.2
Blum -0.142 -0.007 97 -17.2 -3.7
Young 0.079 -0.451 90 -2.1 -55.1
3B          
Blum -0.142 -0.007 106 -8.2 5.3
Randa 0.087 0.2 103 11.7 23
Jackson 0.13 -0.028 100 13 -2.8
Nady 0.359 0.009 100 35.9 0.9
SS          
Blum -0.142 -0.007 102 -12.2 1.3
Greene -0.11 -0.027 94 -17 -8.7
Jackson 0.13 -0.028 66 -21 -36.8
LF          
Sweeney -0.174 0.341 111 -6.4 45.1
Jackson 0.13 -0.028 100 13 -2.8
Young 0.079 -0.451 96 3.9 -49.1
Klesko -0.183 0.216 96 -22.3 17.6
Fick 0.225 0.057 91 13.5 -3.3
Nady 0.359 0.009 87 22.9 -12.1
CF          
Sweeney -0.174 0.341 101 -16.4 35.1
Jackson 0.13 -0.028 101 14 -1.8
Young 0.079 -0.451 101 8.9 -44.1
Roberts -0.037 0.021 96 -7.7 -1.9
Giles 0.188 0.363 94 12.8 30.3
Nady 0.359 0.009 83 18.9 -16.1
RF          
Jackson 0.13 -0.028 112 25 9.2
Sweeney -0.174 0.341 109 -8.4 43.1
Fick 0.225 0.057 101 23.5 6.7
Giles 0.188 0.363 99 17.8 35.3
Nady 0.359 0.099 92 27.9 1.9

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

AIM Chat Snaps Streak

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See here. Couple of quick thoughts:

1) Brian Giles called out on the appeal to first is one of the top five worst calls of the year in any sport, period.

2) Peavy is amazing. 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K, 0 HR

3) The AIM chat is seriously good karma.

4) The recent eight game losing streak shouldn't negatively impact the team this year and may positively impact them in future years. The NL West cannot be lost at this point. It just isn't going to happen. That being said, Los Angeles and Arizona look like they are in it and thus cannot sell off players for prospects that might have helped them down the line. How's that for a silver lining?

5) I hate that Cardinal fan who was sitting next to the mic. What a jerk.

6) The only people who think there is a shot in hell that the Padres won't win the NL West are Padre fans.

Lineups

With absolutely zero justification to follow, here's how I'd fill out the lineup:

Vs. RHP:






C Fick
1B Sweeney
2B Loretta
3B Randa
SS Greene
LF Klesko
CF Nady
RF Giles

And

Vs. LHP:






C Fick
1B Nady
2B Loretta
3B Randa
SS Greene
LF Young
CF Jackson
RF Giles

Basically, I'd have five "every day" starters in Fick, Loretta, Randa, Greene and Giles. Sweeney and Nady would platoon first. Klesko and Young would platoon left. And Nady and Jackson would platoon center. So, I suppose I'd actually have six "every day" starters, Nady would just alternate between center and first.

Eight In A Row...

And counting.

According to Dex at Gaslamp Ball, "Padres are sucking the butts of all indigenous peoples!" He seems to have left out indigenous animals, as well as non-indigenous people and animals. Mollusks, too. Anything with a butt. Pucker up.

Bochy's decision to play Nevin at catcher was interesting, but not surprising. He likes to play real catchers in rightfield, and pseudo-catchers at catcher. Having exhausted the Fick and Nevin possibilities, he's going to have to get creative if he's going to continue his "guys-who-were-once-catchers" policy behind the plate. Joe Torre might be available to catch next season. Or Tim McCarver. Hey, Bochy could put himself in the line-up.

Is it conceivable that they could lose the rest of their games?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Three New Posts Up @ Future Friars...

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Cesar Carrillo

Leo Rosales

Josh Barfield

Any feedback or additional information on the prospects is greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Okay... So Nevin Vetoed the Trade

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As I see it there are two reasons to part company with Phil Nevin.

1) To create playing time for Xavier Nady.
2) To free up money.

The Ponson deal would have done only the former. And, now that we know management is telling Bochy to bench Nevin, the only reason left to trade Nevin is the latter, which the Ponson deal would not have done. So, if Bochy follows through and plays Nady and occasionally Sweeney instead of Nevin at first base, it is conceivable (even likely) that Nevin's bat off the bench is more valuable than Ponson's arm out of the bullpen. The key word is bench.

Hey, when life gives you lemons...

How Bad are the Padres & the NL West?

The table below shows each team's records against the two NL divisions of which they are not a part:















Team W L W%
Phillies 25 13 0.658
Mets 21 15 0.583
Braves 22 16 0.579
Nationals 25 20 0.556
Astros 21 18 0.538
Pirates 22 19 0.537
Cardinals 20 18 0.526
Padres 19 18 0.514
Marlins 18 18 0.500
Cubs 19 20 0.487
Reds 19 20 0.487
Brewers 18 21 0.462
Dodgers 14 20 0.412
Giants 14 21 0.400
Diamondbacks 14 22 0.389
Rockies 17 29 0.370

Pretty interesting. Obviously, the rest of the NL West is as bad as people have said, but the Padres are just behind the Cardinals in 8th.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Washington Post: Nevin Likely Will Accept Deal

New Prospect Report

Check it out here. If anyone has more information on Brett Bonvechio, I'd be thrilled if you would share. Thanks.

NRAA

Oops. I forgot to link to the NRAA Glossary at Beyond the Box Score. So yeah, oops.

To Peter who I neglected to respond to earlier: See? NRAA doesn't take their offensive stats from each position. The positional difference is due to their defense.

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From the Washington Post:
"My feeling is that he's going to accept it," an executive from one of the teams involved said... "He said Lee was very convincing and painted a nice picture," Barry Axelrod, Nevin's agent, said. "They told him he'd play every day at first base or at DH and bat in the middle of the lineup." ... Another factor is that the Padres have told the first baseman he would no longer be an everyday player.
Excellent.

It's already been established that the move helps the team offensively by forcing Bochy to give playing time to his better players. I say that it forces him to, but maybe Geoff Blum will be the new first baseman. It's impossible to tell with Boch. He genuinely seems to prefer starting lesser players. Hell, he may want to call Ojeda back up to start at first base.

There's also a financial angle. Phil Nevin is still owed roughly four million dollars this year and $10 million in '06 with a two million dollar buyout in '07. Ponson is owed roughly $250,000 less this season and in '06 will be paid the same as Nevin.

It's less compelling than the "stopping Bochy from refusing to play one of his best players" angle, but it's an angle.

Bochy Hates Winning

Well, why do you think he refuses to put the best team he can on the field? During the seven game losing streak, Xavier Nady is tied for ninth on the team in plate appearances. That puts him behind guys who play the same positions as him such as Dave Roberts and Phil Nevin who have gone a combined 3 for 29 over that span. Lance seems to think that's because Nady sleeps with Bochy's wife or something to that effect. I'm thinking he either thinks these are exhibition games or he actually detests winning ball games. What do you think?

Poll Added!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bochy Refuses to Field Best Lineup, Padres Shutout

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Say you were playing a game in Coors East, would you try to get your best homerun hitter into the lineup?

If you said, "yes," you're already a better manager than Bruce Bochy.

The Padres were shutout by Philadelphia in Philadelphia today. They lost by only two runs. They had 11 base-runners. Xavier Nady got zero plate appearances.

Now, I'm not going to suggest Bruce Bochy is trying to lose... Actually, I'll just leave it at that.

The Randa Deal

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I like the acquisition of Randa a lot. I'm not terribly pleased that we had to trade Travis Chick to get him, but I like that we got him. He's a substantial upgrade at third base.

Padre Third Baseman by NRAA/64:
Randa15.21
Nady9.47
Blum2.79
Burroughs-7.67


Big upgrade.

Unloading Nevin

Ponson is a mediocre acquisition at best. Dumping Nevin is likely worth 2-3 extra wins. Padre First Basemen by NRAA/64:
Sweeney19.00
Nady10.11
Fick1.97
Nevin-5.19


The same results could be had by forcing Bochy to bench Nevin, but it's probably easier to get Nevin to allow a trade. Stupid Bochy...

Richard Anxiously Awaits...

...word on whether Phil Nevin will sign off on this apparent deal, as reported by ESPN.com:
The Baltimore Orioles on Saturday agreed to trade right-handed pitcher Sidney Ponson to San Diego for first baseman Phil Nevin.
Nevin has a limited no-trade clause and had yet to approve the deal, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports, and according to Nevin's clause, he can veto a trade to the Orioles. Olney adds that it could be a few days before Nevin decides.

I'm guessing that Nevin will nix the trade, if only to piss Richard off. On the other hand, who the hell would want the aptly-named Ponson? A pitcher with David Wells' physique and Rick Ankiel's command is a pretty useless commodity.

Is it my imagination, or does Towers seem to have a thing for fat pitchers? In the last two seasons, Wells, Reyes, Beck, Osuna, and possibly Ponson, will have all taken the mound on behalf of the Padres. I think I may be in line for a long-relief job after rosters expand.

Additional trade news from ESPN:
SAN DIEGO -- The slumping NL West-leading San Diego Padres acquired third baseman Joe Randa from the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday and demoted struggling Sean Burroughs to Triple-A. They agreed to a trade that would send first baseman Phil Nevin to Baltimore for pitcher Sidney Ponson, but had yet to ask the slugger to waive his limited no-trade clause.

I don't know anyone outside of Joe Morgan who thinks a player of Randa's caliber makes a significant difference over the course of less than half a season. But if Burroughs' demotion helps him find his way to a career as an above-average regular at the hot corner (which I find wholly plausible), then this is a good deal.

Does anyone remember Nevin grudgingly moving from third to first to accomodate Burroughs' ascension to the big leagues? Sometimes things don't work out as you would expect them to.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bochy Handicaps Team, Padres Lose

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Bochy decided to handicap the team by refusing to play one of his best players. The result? One run scored. If you ask most sabermetricians if how you write the batting order matters, they'll tell you it doesn't. There's an exception to that, though. When you fill out the lineup without your best players, that does matter. Bochy's inability to do his job is hurting the team. Will it be enough to keep them out of the playoffs? Probably not, but it might.

Hyzdu Traded Back to Boston

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The Padres acquired 28 year old starting pitcher Scott Cassidy from the Red Sox in exchange for Adam Hyzdu today. I like the deal and will have more on it later.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Tim Stauffer

Upcoming Series

Check out Metstradamus.

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I'm of the opinion that analyzing "per-start" stats gives you a better idea of a starting pitcher's value than their "per nine" or "per inning" stats. I am also of the opinion that the best (okay, I mean easiest) way to break down those stats is through the most basic of statistical methods: mean, median, mode and range.

With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at what Tim Stauffer has done in his rookie season thus far.

Mean Line: 6.12 IP, 6.33 H, 3.08 R, 0.58 HR, 2 BB, 3.67 K, 16 P/IP
Median Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3.5 K, 15.3 P/IP
Mode Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 K
Range: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 K, 6.86 P/IP

Two words come to mind: Solid & Consistent. Those are pretty solid adjectives to have attached to a guy as a rookie, especially a 22 y/o rookie. Also mildly interesting, I thought, were the normal rate stats associated with each of the above lines.




Stat Line RA WHIP K/9 BB/9 K/BB
Mean 4.54 1.36 5.40 2.94 1.83
Median 4.50 1.50 5.25 3.00 1.75
Mode 3.00 1.50 3.00 3.00 1.00


Still pretty solid. Let me know what you think about using this sort of basic statistical analysis for starting pitchers.

Jacob Edward Peavy

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Peav's good. Damn good, really. Here's some stats to help make that case:

Average Start: 6.7 IP, 5.3 H, 2.4 R, 0.6 HR, 1.4 BB, 7.3 K, 103.6 Pitches
Median Start: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0.5 HR, 1 BB, 8 K, 100.5 Pitches

Range: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 HR, 2 BB, 11 K, 32 Pitches

Okay, so the Range doesn't help make the case. In fact, it shows that inconsistency has been a problem, but that's worth noting, too.

Peavy's season stats: 118.7 IP, 1.02 WHIP, 3.28 RA, 5.28 K/BB.

Not bad? Yeah, not bad at all. And what if we remove the "sick starts?"* Good question.

Peavy's season stats, sans "sick starts"*: 105.7 IP, 0.96 WHIP, 2.55 RA, 5.55 K/BB.

Filthy. Peavy has been just ridiculously good this season when healthy. Nothing earth-shattering, but I thought it would be good for my health if we focused on something positive after today's game.

All statistics aside, Peavy also says things like this: "We've got our foot on their throat. Now if we can come up with a win maybe we can break their backs and put some distance between us."

*May 31, June 8, & June 14

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Yankees DFA Redding

My prediction that Tim Redding would find success in Yankee pinstripes has gone kablooey. Redding has been designated for assignment to make room for (of course!) Al Leiter.

Leiter had himself been DFA'd by the Marlins on Thursday.

Clearly, the Yankees' affinity for really old pitchers who make a lot of money served as inspiration for these moves. Once Steinbrenner realizes that he's only responsible for about $400,000 of Leiter's salary, he'll be released and replaced by someone more expensive and less effective. Hideo Nomo, perhaps.

In non-baseball related news, I'll be drinking beer and listening to ZZ Top's "Tube Snake Boogie" on repeat, from now until the Padres begin their scheduled Sunday trouncing of the D-Backs.

ZZ Top. Those dudes totally rock.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Memo to Padre Fan: Quit Whining.

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There are exactly two teams with a greater probability of making the playoffs than the Padres. They are the 59-29 Chicago White Sox and the 56-32 St. Louis Cardinals. And the Cardinals are the only team with a greater probability of winning their division.

Right now, the Padres could reasonably play sub-.500 ball the rest of the way and still win the West. The Padres are practically guaranteed a playoff spot and from there it's a crapshoot anyway. Quit whining. Seriously. Just quit it.

This is the last "Memo to" post for a while. I promise...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Memo to Bochy: Start Xavier Nady!

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The Padres were shutout again last night. And where was the team's leading slugger? He sat on the bench until Bochy decided to put him in as a Late Inning Defensive Replacement. Nady plays five positions. Those positions are First Base, Third Base, Left Field, Center Field and Right Field. There are two hitters on the team better than Xavier Nady. They are the Left and Right Fielders. That leaves Center, Third and First. Xavier Nady should be in one of those three spots every single day unless he's injured.

Update

Using Marc Normandin's NRAA, we can see roughly how many more runs Nady would be worth in comparison to each of these players over the rest of the season and see if I was off-base with my earlier remarks...

Starting with first base, Nady is at 10.44 NRAA/72 games compared to Nevin who is at -1.66 NRAA/72 games. That's a difference of 12.1 runs.

At third base, Nady is at 9.72 NRAA/72 games compared to Burroughs who is at -1.08 NRAA/72 games. Nady = +10.8 runs.

In left field, Nady is at 1.01 NRAA/72 games compared to Klesko who is at 10.44 NRAA/72 games. Nady = -9.43 runs.

In center field, Nady is at -0.16 NRAA/72 games compared to Roberts who is at -1.01 NRAA/72 games. Nady = +0.85 runs.

In right field, Nady is at 4.64 NRAA/72 games compared to Giles who is at 27.79 NRAA/72 games. Nady = -23.15 runs.

The biggest benefit appears to be at first base. Works for me.

Hank Has a Point

Robert Fick's 1B NRAA/72 = 11.66
Robert Fick's 1B eNRAA/72 = -12.32 ('05-'03 weighted)

Mark Sweeney's 1B NRAA/72 = 19.22
Mark Sweeney's 1B eNRAA/72 = 13.61 ('05-'03 weighted)

It becomes clear that the better choice is to start Sweeney at first and Nady at third. Portland would probably like to watch Sean play baseball. Give them the chance, KT.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Trade Rumors

Athletics Nation

Blez of Athletics Nation has an article discussing my Dollars/Run stat.

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From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
The Padres, White Sox and Blue Jays are the latest trio of contending clubs to express serious interest in the hard-throwing right-hander[, A.J. Burnett]. Marlins scout Gene Watson was in Chicago over the weekend for the A's-White Sox series, and the Padres scouted Burnett's 14-strikeout outing last week in South Florida.

Neat.

Option Sean Burroughs

I really think it would be best for both the Padres and Sean Burroughs if he spent some time in Triple-A. Who should be called up to replace him? Bobby Scales. Bobby Scales is batting .285/.390/.478. A fairly rough Major League equivalent of that line is .250/.350/.390. Sadly, that's a significant upgrade over Sean and Geoff Blum for that matter. Granted, Damian Jackson is still playing like an above average Major League third baseman, but it'd still be nice to have another guy on the team who approaches league average at the hot corner.

Padre Position Players by P3OPS

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P3OPS is a position adjusted offensive metric.

RF Brian Giles, .316
C Robert Fick, .314
1B Mark Sweeney, .294
LF Ryan Klesko, .280
CF Xavier Nady, .273
2B Mark Loretta, .273
C Ramon Hernandez, .269
CF Dave Roberts, .269
3B Damian Jackson, .264
SS Khalil Greene, .254
2B Eric Young, .243
3B Geoff Blum, .231
3B Sean Burroughs, .230
1B Phil Nevin, .229
SS Jesse Garcia, .197
RF Ben Johnson, .195
C Miguel Ojeda, .178
1B Paul McAnulty, .176
CF Adam Hyzdu, .158

.260 is league average. Assuming Damian Jackson continues to play third base, the only position where the Padres do not currently have someone producing at or above league average for their position is shortstop and I think we're all pretty comfortable with letting that one slide for now.

(Lance: Considering all the heat Burroughs has been taking for his (lack of) offense, it's interesting that he's a single tick above Nevin. I doubt that you were surprised.)

The multiplier (well, divisor really...) for a first baseman is something like 5.9 compared to something like 5.6 for third base.

Monday, July 11, 2005

First Half Awards

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NL MVP: Derrek Lee, Chicago
NL Cy Young: Roger Clemens, Houston
NL ROY: Willy Taveras, Houston

AL MVP: Brian Roberts, Baltimore
AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Toronto
AL ROY: Chris Youn, Texas

Friday, July 08, 2005

The All-Star Game

The All-WARP1 Team

Are you wondering what an objectively decided upon team would look like for each league? I didn't think so, but here they are:

American League

Jason Varitek, C
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian Roberts, 2B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Miguel Tejada, SS
Gary Sheffield, OF
Vladimir Guerrero, OF
Hideki Matsui, OF
David Ortiz, DH

National League

Brian Schneider, C
Derrek Lee, 1B
Marcus Giles, 2B
Morgan Ensberg, 3B
Rafael Furcal, SS
Brian Giles, OF
Andruw Jones, OF
Bobby Abreu or Jason Bay, OF

(Lance: You would put Giles in w/o question, while Abreu and Bay sit on the fence?
By what metric have they not both SIGNIFICANTLY outperformed Giles?
That metric is wrong, whatever it is. (Forgive me while I sound like Joe Morgan.))


Well, there's WARP1. Giles leads all Major League outfielders in Wins Above Replacement Player, which is what both teams were picked by. Also, since you asked, Giles is also way ahead of Bay in Win Shares. Gilly also has a higher OBP than Bay. He also leads them both in Batting Runs Above Average and Fielding Runs Above Average. Oh and Equivalent Average. He has a higher equivalent average than either of them. Abreu and Bay sit on the fence because they are tied for third in the NL among outfielders in Wins Above Replacement Player. :-P

Title Track

Check out my most recent post at Beyond the Box Score.

There's a reason it's the called the BRIAN GILES Award for Unheralded Greatness...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Unbelievable!

From Tom Krasovic at SignOnSanDiego.com:

"Bochy said it was Sean Burroughs' decision to bunt in Friday' game with Robert Fick on first, none out and the Padres trailing 3-2 in the eighth. Burroughs popped out to third baseman Pedro Feliz."

Richard, take a deep breath. Please, don't explode.

Great. Burroughs has gone off the deep end. His confidence clearly shot, it's probably time for him to assume a new role. Like bagboy at Vons.

I've been a Burroughs supporter, maintaining that his perforformance was actually quite good, given his youth. After all, most prospects his age are in Triple-A, not in their third year as a major league regular.

But this incident leaves me with one conclusion:

If you don't think you're a hitter, you're probably right.

(Richard: Speaking of things that are unbelievable, the Padres are the only first place team to send only one player to the All-Star Game. National League teams sending more players include: 2nd Place Atlanta, 2nd Place Chicago, 3rd Place Houston, 3rd Place Los Angeles, 3rd Place Florida and 5th Place New York. Teams sending an equal number of players include: 2nd Place Arizona, 4th Place Milwaukee, 4th Place San Francisco, 4th Place Philadelphia, 5th Place Colorado, 5th Place Pittsburgh and 6th Place Cincinnati. That's just garbage.)

Not-so-in-depth Trade Analysis

Surprisingly enough, Richard has yet to post his opinion on the Redding & May for Quantrill trade, replete with graphs and tables of alphabet-soup statistics. Have no fear, as I'm sure it's coming soon.

(Richard: I'm waiting for a real trade to break out tables and graphs.)

Based purely on the personnel involved, I have mixed feelings. Losing the worse-than-nothing entity that is Darrell May, along with his $3.2-million (GULP!) salary, is a huge positive. And while I think Paul Quantrill can still be an asset in a contending bullpen, I'm not sure that Redding might not make Kevin Towers regret this deal.

(Richard: I don't believe Tim Redding will be effective this year. I expect Quantrill to be effective this year. In the future, I wouldn't be surprised to see Redding succeed. However, I doubt Towers will regret this solid trade.)

Given the current age and health issues besetting the Yankee rotation, I wouldn't be surprised to see Redding in their rotation before the end of the season. I'd be even less surprised to see him run off 45 wins for them over the next few years.

I wish Towers could have thrown Nevin in somehow. Now that would have made Richard happy.

(Richard: You would have seen an article if Towers had screwed some team into taking Nevin off his hands.)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Padres by 3OPS

Baseball Prospectus' Notebook

I can't imagine anyone reading this doesn't alreadt read Baseball Prospectus, but in cas you don't, this is from Tom Gorman of BP:
San Diego Padres: At the beginning of the season we took a moment to talk about recent products of the Padres' farm system. One of the characters we took a shine to was Xavier Nady, who opened the season as Dave Roberts' substitute in center field (Roberts was hobbled in spring training with a pulled groin muscle). By the time Roberts was finally healthy Nady had put up an oustanding .341/.383/.659 line in 47 plate appearances. The job, however, was still considered Roberts' and his 2005 line of .287/.358/.480 is far from disappointing, especially in Petco Park. That, combined with his speed and generally excellent outfield defense make Roberts one of the better center fielders in baseball.


Given his 2005 line of .267/.337/.520, the Padres have been reasonably desperate to get Nady some plate appearances, but that hasn't always been easy. Roberts' current knee problem gives Nady a spot for the week, but most days he's blocked there and blocked in both left and right field by the positive play of Ryan Klesko (.276/.379/.480) and Brian Giles (.283/.415/.498). Nady has been used as a pinch hitter, a platoon partner to the left-handed-hitting Klesko and Roberts, as a late-inning substitute in blowouts, and someone whose defensive versatility allows him to be spotted as a pinch hitter in any sort of double-switch opportunity.


The one idea the Padres haven't implemented to any extent this year is the plan they floated in the off-season: to let Nady return to his college position of third base, and replace the woefully inadequate Sean Burroughs (currently "hitting" .262/.332/.307). Of the 38 major-league players with 200 PAs whose primary position is 3B, Burroughs is 32nd in VORP, trailed only by Joe Crede, Mark Teahen, Ty Wigginton, David Bell, Mike Lowell, and Aaron Boone. Burroughs has the lowest slugging rate of any third baseman with at least 75 plate appearances, a full .029 behind Mike Lowell, who is hitting a woeful .217/.271/.336. This isn't a one-year anomaly, either; Burroughs' career slugging average is .364 and in his best year (2003) he had just seven home runs and a .402 SLG. To put it another way, Nady has more home runs in this partial season than Burroughs has had in his two best year's combined. As BP's Dave Pease pointed out, Burroughs has one home run this year, while Nady had three in three games during a series with Seattle.


In the 2000, 2002, and 2003 editions of our BP annual we predicted that Burroughs' power would eventually show up, but it hasn't and it doesn't look like it ever will. This year PECOTA tagged Burroughs with a huge Collapse Rate, indicating that there was a significant chance that Burroughs would fail to match even his modest recent performance. PECOTA hedged correctly: while his batting average and on-base percentage are close to what PECOTA forecasted, Burroughs' 2005 slugging average is well below even his 10th percentile prediction.


From various comments that General Manager Kevin Towers made at the recent BP sponsored Pizza Feed in San Diego, it seems clear that Towers realizes how much Burroughs is hurting the team's offense. At their current 2005 levels, the offensive difference between Nady and Burroughs is almost a full 1/3rd of a run per game. If Clay Davenport's defensive numbers are even close to accurate, Nady would have to be twice as bad as Chipper Jones at third for Burroughs' defense to be worth the offensive tradeoff. We haven't seen Nady at the hot corner since college but we find it hard to believe that Nady's defense could be so bad as to not experiment with him at the hot corner when he can't find another way into the lineup.



Towers/Alderson Article

A certain fish wrap has published an article claiming Towers and Alderson will butt heads. Needless to say, the Washington Post's coverage of sports is about as stellar as its coverage of everything else.

Title Track

Players must have at least one plate appearance per game played by the team. League Average for 3OPS is .260. It reads like batting average. 3OPS is purely an offensive metric.


















Player

3OPS

Brian Giles

0.323

Mark Sweeney

0.319

Ryan Klesko

0.3

Robert Fick

0.296

Xavier Nady

0.284

Dave Roberts

0.284

Mark Loretta

0.278

Damian Jackson

0.258

Ramon Hernandez

0.251

Phil Nevin

0.25

Sean Burroughs

0.239

Khalil Greene

0.238

Geoff Blum

0.233

Miguel Ojeda

0.163