Stupid fun for a Wednesday…
- Phoenix 3, Saguaros 2 (box). Left-hander Will Startup worked an eight-pitch scoreless ninth. All Padres position players rode pine.
- Obregon 10, Mexicali 4 (box). Jared Wells gave up two unearned runs on two hits in the ninth.
- Navojoa 11, Hermosillo 8 (box). Two more hits for Oscar Robles, who batted second and played shortstop. Luis Cruz singled and drove in a run in three at-bats. He started at second base and moved to center in the seventh. Cruz has played at least three positions since the league started.
I missed this when it happened, but according to Baseball America, the Padres have granted Hiram Bocachica and Scott Cassidy free agency. Cassidy did some nice work for the big club in the first half of 2006 but has been a non-factor since. I liked what I saw of Bocachica in limited opportunities and hope he gets a chance somewhere else.
Another guy granted free agency was right-hander Jermaine Van Buren. He’s coming off a poor showing at Triple-A, but this is someone who has enjoyed success in the high minors in the recent past. I’d identified Van Buren in the Ducksnorts 2007 Baseball Annual as a potential bargain reliever and I still think he might be worth a look.
46: I Love That Kid’s Bat, Milledge’s next rap hit.
47: Worth considering, especially on a one-year deal. While OG now profiles as a leadoff hitter, there’s some chance he won’t be ready at the start of the year. And really, what’s the difference between leadoff and the #2 hitter? Working the count, drawing walks, works well both places.
Not only was calling you, TW, instead of Milledge, wrong, but saying, “came up” was wrong too… I remember Milledge from when the Mets drafted him. He had a Kenny Lofton-type wirey body, now he looks stronger…
CF is such an interesting discussion for the off-season…
52: That $100 per diem meal money on the road thickens lots of people. I’d prefer the added strength, as long as he’s still got the athleticism.
40: Crisp isn’t a lead off hitter. Your lead off hitter should be one of your three best hitters and we’d have to purge this team of talent for Crisp to be one of our top three hitters.
25. Thanks Tom, sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I would love to see the Padres take some more high ceiling guys as well, namely high school players – but the last time they made a big effort at that in 2004 – Bush, Killiam and Jones – they pretty much fell flat on their faces. Maybe they need some better scouts.
Cumberland seems like he has some potential and I’m curious why they couldn’t get it done with Toledo – we never got a great answer on that one. I go back and forth on whether they should have taken a shot at Porcello.
Need (must) have one of your 3 best hitters as your leadoff man or purge ? Maybe on the high school level but not at this level.
The fine folks at MLB Trade Rumors have an excellent post about the perils of signing big name free agents this off-season (namely, for any clubs drafting in the lower half of the first round in 08, you could lose that slot).
Given that we draft at #23, I’d much rather trade for someone then sign for a top FA and get burned.
Also, will we be getting any supplemental picks this year? If we offer Cameron arb and he walks, that’s 2, right?
I’ll admit that Crisp hasn’t shown much defensive ability until this year, but I’m intrigued by this:
ESPN lists Zone Rating & Range Factor… Sorted by qualified CFs, Crisp is 1st in RF and tied for 2nd in ZR.
He might not be the ideal candidate (Ichiro isn’t available), espcially offensively, but he might be the best available…
Phantom! GREAT thinking… I hadn’t even thought about that…. We would ABSOLUTELY offer arb. Best case scenario, he accepts, and we get 1 more year of Cameron and don’t have a long-term contract to deal, worst case, he turns us down and we’ll get 2 picks (someone else’s and a supp.)… That get’s me pumped up.
JP, I think you missed his point. His point was that we have better hitters (namely, Brian Giles, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Kouzmanoff) who would keep Crisp out of our “top 3″ hitters… The only way Crisp is a “top 3″ guy is we “purge” the roster…
Don’t we have to be careful on solely using OPS as the all encompassing barometer for all players ? In other words, will not Russell Branyan always have a higher OPS than someone like Crisp and does that automatically be of more value offensively than Crisp? No doubt, the Padres need a basestealer who makes decent contact – Cameron struck out a whopping 160 times last years- hence my interest in Crisp. Not to mention the fact that Cameron is 6 years older than Crisp.
#61 Gotcha. But is it always a matter of “better” (whatever your measurement tool for “better” might be) versus a player being value based on their particular role. It seems fruitless to compare Kouzmanoff to a Coco Crisp.
In other words, was the NFL’s Hall of Fame lineman Anthony Munoz “better” than Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy ?
57: He doesn’t have to be one of your 3 best, but he should be skilled at getting on base. Crisp could easily be the worst hitter on our team. Looking the part – thin, fast, preferably a minority – doesn’t help. A legit leadoff guy should not be 7th or 8th on the team in OBP. He’s not particularly patient, either. Can anybody explain how adding a worse player to our team makes us better?
Draft picks: I’m skeptical. Odds are we’ll have another “You have to restock the system before you take any chances” draft, loaded with college players (not necessarily bad) and not paying anybody over slot, even if a true top talent falls (very bad).
62: For leadoff hitters, I’d concentrate on OBP, and that’s where Crisp falls short. His batting average will probably be higher than Cameron’s, but all that contact, those fewer strikeouts, still result in him making more outs. Crisp isn’t really suited to the leadoff role. Doesn’t work the count, doesn’t get on base. The “role” is kind of like somebody saying a catcher’s defense is so good (or a shortstop, or a center fielder) that “anything you get at the plate is a bonus.” It’s not. It never is.
Munoz was a lot more valuable than Guy. A team full of Mike Camerons would beat the tar out of a team full of Coco Crisps.
JP, you made the KK/BG/AG vs. CC argument first when you said CC would be a top 3 hitter on the team – you just didn’t name the Padre hitters…
TW, I am with JP on CC being valuable, albeit, more likely batting 2nd, 7th, or 8th… His BA is higher than Cameron’s and his career OBP is lower, but it’s .330ish the last two years (Crisp’s ’07 numbers: .268/.330/.382) which is what Cameron’s was this year (2007: .242/.328/.431).
I’m not enamored with CC, but I think he might be the best AVAILABLE option (Reggie Willits -.293/.391/.344- might be a better option)…
Re: 66 Willits is available?
I’ll take Crisp. He has a much better shot of reaching a new level of offensive production compared to Cameron, who is not going to get any better. It’s only a matter of time when his production start to slip. Crisp is only 28–his best years very well could be ahead of him. In addition, I’ll take Crisp’s 50/84 BB/K ratio over Cameron’s 67/160. The difference there is staggering. Put the ball in play in a big ballpark and you end up getting yourself some extra hits, and some doubles that turn into triples. . . You can’t rawly judge players against each other by OPS. It doesn’t work that way.
Personally, I really like OB%, slugging percentage, and then obviously the combination OPS. You can’t rawly judge players against each other by OPS. It doesn’t work that way.
When it was literally impossible to throw out Vince Coleman, did it matter that his slugging percentage was a pathetic .358 in 1987? Well if you consider that 109 of his singles ended up being “doubles” because he stole 109 bases, then his effective slugging percentage (number of bases earned per at bat) was .533, almost 200 points higher. Add that to his OB%, and his value was more like an OPS of .896.
Of course his “real” stats show his OPS that year was .721.
So OPS is a legit stat, but it doesn’t measure a player’s complete offensive value because it doesn’t account for guys like Vince Coleman that turn 71% of their singles into doubles by stealing second base. In 1987, Coleman had 153 singles and 109 stolen bases. I’m sure not ALL of his steals were stealing second, but just looking at those numbers. He literally turned 71% of his singles into doubles. Is that a fucking trip or what?
Anyway, anyone who puts their blinders on and judges players strictly on OPS is off base. I love the stat, but you can’t live by it.
Pat Burrell has a decent OPS at close to .900, so people think of him as a slugger. I think that guy would fall flat on is face in a bigger ballpark. He is a fly ball to left machine, and that ballpark doesn’t hold alot of those fly balls. He only hits 28-30 homers. Put that guy in Shea and I bet he hits 22. So alot of his OPS is on base percentage, and yes it’s nice to get on base, but when you are a slug like Burrell it’s not like it thrills me to see him standing at first.
If OPS is supposed to represent some way of quantifying how many runs an offensive player might produce, then I disagree. Coleman’s OPS was .721 in 1987, and Burrell’s was .902 in 2007. OPS says Burrell is a better offensive player. Sorry, but that team would score way, way more runs with Vince Coleman in left over Pat Burrell.
Re: Way to state the obvious.
68: The strikeouts give you almost no new information about a hitter beyond what average, OBP, and SLG% give you. If you want a guy that gets more hits, look at batting average. If you want a guy that gets on base more, look at OBP. If you want a guy that gets more extra base hits, look at SLG%. Looking at those stats tells you Mike Cameron will have fewer hits than Crisp, but will get on base more, and will hit for more total bases. You don’t need to theorize that Crisp will do more with his at bats because more balls will go in play, because we know from looking at his batting line that isn’t the case.
There is no possible argument to be made that Crisp is a better hitter than Cameron, even before you adjust for Petco as Death Valley for a hitter.
68: When a player singles and steals seconds it shouldn’t get counted as a double … I know it obviously doesn’t, but I mean theoretically you probably shouldn’t even adjust it like that. A double advances base runners 2-3 bases, while a steal does nothing but advance yourself one extra base.
Also, you have to factor in all of the time a player was caught stealing. You certainly have to adjust for speed, but doing it like that isn’t the correct way, imo.
I meant to address the previous comment, #68, but in a tongue in cheek fashion.
However, My typo negated every aspect of my admittedly questionable intentions.
Even though Coleman stole bases, he didnt hit extra base hits. A single and a steal isnt a double. I double will no doubt score a guy from 2nd and probably someone from 1st. Coleman slapping only singles (14 Doubles 3 HRs) and stealing a base his much different from Burrells XBHs (30 HRs, 26 Doubles) in the middle of the order.
68: I’m not sure how to write a response to all that…..
1) Crisp reaching a new offensive level means he might become as good as Cameron is. Yes, we’ve probably seen the best of Cameron. From now to age 37 I’d peg his OPS+ at 100, give or take 5. Crisp has to get a lot better just to get there. Players typically peak at 27-28, and those were 2 of Crisp’s worst years.
2) Crisp isn’t Vince Coleman. He doesn’t get on as much, he doesn’t steal as much. He barely steals more than……aging Mike Cameron.
3) We’ve seen Petco Park for 4 years now. What slap hitters have suddenly seen this vast increase in their offensive production? Nobody. You might say Dave Roberts, but he played a lot of games in Dodger Stadium and San Francisco, two big parks, without doing well.
4) This year Pat Burrell scored 30 times with 30 swings of the bat. Coleman, for all his speed, grounded into 7 DPs in 87, only 3 less than lumbering Burrell. Coleman clearly scored more, but he was hitting leadoff in front of Jack Clark, Willie McGee, and Terry Pendleton, who were all better hitters than him. I’d take Burrell. He’s far less dependent on somebody else doing something to produce runs. The big difference would be defense, which isn’t what you’ve been talking about.
5) I don’t care how Cameron and Crisp make outs. I care how many outs they make. Crisp makes more, and we don’t have any evidence that his type of hitting will thrive in Petco.
Crisp could play well for us, I’m not denying that. But it’s not going to be because he strikes out less or puts the ball in play in a big park. The last time he was a decent offensive player was in Cleveland, which isn’t big. Some more hits will drop, which can happen anywhere, he might get a little more patient, he might manage to steal 50 bags. But he could easily be the 270/330/385 hitter he’s been in Fenway, with 20 stolen bases, and that’s not much help.
JP, first, let’s keep it clean, we don’t need to drop F-bombs…
Regarding Crisp, I think he’s useful. He’s not likely to get that much better, but he is likely to retain his skills while as you correctly point, Cameron’s skills will likely to erode. Virtually every other CF option is either on the wrong side of 30, has eroding defensive skills, and will cost 2-3x as much as Crisp for twice the length…
Also, I agree, the decrease in strikeouts should help…
Re 67: Willits is not going to start full-time for the Halos at any position, he might not be “on the block” but they’d definitely listen.
Another name we threw around for awhile was Fukudome… If he can play even an adequate CF, he’d be my first choice, then we could shift him to RF when OG’s contract expires after ’08…
TW, are you dead-set against CC as the Padres CF in ’08? What would be your best-case scenario? Option 2?
Do you know the specific date, when teams will be free to negotiate with Fukudome?
No (couldn’t think of anything smart-alecky).
TW, shoot me an e-mail
pffriberg at yahoo.com
77: he’s a FA, so I imagine it would be the same as all other FA deadlines and timelines.
Vince Coleman was terrible. He may have looked good, but all those steals did not make up for all those outs and lack of total bases: .320, .301 and .363 — his OBP during his 100+ steal seasons. His slugging percentage wasn’t much higher (sometimes lower), and he struck out a lot. The “What If Rickey Henderson had Pete Incaviglia’s Legs” chapter in “Baseball Between the Numbers” doesn’t outright dismiss the stolen base but it makes the case about why it’s often an overrated weapon, or at least was.
BTW, that .363 OBP was Coleman’s career high, 39 points above his career average.
So if the Pads were to trade for Crisp, we’d have to hear from all the “old-schoolers,” say the Coach and Philly Billy, that the Padres are going to be more dangerous with all that speed, blah blah blah.
I don’t think anyone is targeting Crisp and thinking he’s anything like an ideal solution. His main appeal is he wouldn’t cost much in talent or salary (I think he’s making about 4 million) and can play good defense. The hope is that the low salary allows KT to spend money in other areas (starting pitching) to improve the club enough to offset the lack of offense.
The other second tier options are just as lousy (Corey Patterson, Kenny Lofton) and may even be more expensive. Either way you look at it the Padres are in a tough spot. Fukudome may cost nearly as much as one of the top tier guys, and at that point wouldn’t it be safer to spend a little more and get a guy who has proven he can hit ML pitching?
#83: Precisely. Acquiring Crisp would be a lot like signing Jay Payton before the 2004 season — not optimal, but passable given the available options.
The three most important spots in the batting order (and thus the three positions that should be occupied by your three best hitters) are 1st, 2nd and 4th. I’m not sure what’s confusing about that. Coco Crisp is not a good hitter and thus doesn’t belong in one of those spots for the Padres in ’08.
In case anyone is interested, Keith Law had this to say about Will Venable’s performance this fall…
Will Venable (Padres) can’t keep his body under control as he swings. His hips turn way out front before he starts his swing, resulting in an uncoordinated hack and inability to square up balls.
Hunter is interested in the Nats:
I wonder if this would make Ryan Church available? There’s a guy we could use.
Glad I sparked some conversation but of course a bit embarrassed that my enthusiasm resulted in the dropping of the F-Bomb (won’t happen again). Above all, thanks for the great chat about about baseball !
#86 I saw Venable play a lot this year at San Antonio and I must agree with Law. Venable swing seemed rather long and at times he indeed have a difficult time squaring up.
88: Well I went overboard calling Vince Coleman terrible. So … got get a motivated Jones on a one-year deal. That’s my solution.
#68: The Phillies absolutely would not score more runs with Coleman in left than with Burrell. Coleman’s ’87 resulted in 5.4 RC/G, while Burrell’s ’07 resulted in 7.6. If you’re talking about Burrell’s ’03, then I can accept that, but on balance, those two players aren’t even close in terms of offensive production.
#86, 89: Thanks for the info on Venable.
#88: No worries, bud; it happens.
#90: Except that for much of his career, Coleman was terrible. Still, stealing 107 bases with a .232/.301/.280 line in ’86 is mighty impressive. If Coleman had possessed any hitting ability whatsoever, he would have destroyed Rickey’s single-season mark of 130 that year.
Oh, I’m trying to be nice, Geoff and not use 15 seconds of baseball-reference to bury a player. But, yeah, that 63 OPS+ in his second year, IIRC, isn’t good.
Chris Brown and his tired eyelids have got to be near the top of this list. How about Shawn Abner? What a bust!!! Who was the 3B vet we had in the 90′s who had “vertigo” and had to retire – was that Presley?
Former Padre Wes Gardner ! How could we forget Wes Gardner. For some reason I will always remember this Wes Gardner Save against LA in their home opener. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN199104120.shtml
He was out of baseball shortly thereafter.