Kings of the Road

I was hoping to have the next installment of our Operation Center Field series ready, but I’m still hacking through the data jungle. Instead, I’ll share a few items I found along the way that might help you win a bar bet or three:

MLB Road Home Runs in 2007

  1. Brewers: 110
  2. Padres: 99
  3. Phillies: 97
  4. Yankees/A’s/Braves/Mets: 94

Source: ESPN.

MLB Road Doubles in 2007

  1. Padres: 196
  2. Braves: 194
  3. Tigers: 188
  4. Phillies: 180
  5. Yankees: 176

Source: ESPN.

MLB Road Extra Base Hits in 2007

  1. Padres: 307
  2. Braves: 302
  3. Phillies: 297
  4. Yankees: 291
  5. Tigers: 284

Source: ESPN.

Don’t feel bad; everyone gets these wrong. And even if you don’t win any bets, at least you can feel better knowing that a lack of power wasn’t the problem with the Padres offense this season.

Winter Leagues

  • Saguaros 11, Surprise 7 (box). Will Venable, batting fourth again, singled twice and walked in six trips to the plate. He also saw his first action in the field, getting the start in left and committing a throwing error in his only chance. Matt Antonelli, in the #8 hole, went 1-for-5 and turned two double plays on defense. Nick Hundley followed Antonelli, going 2-for-5 with a solo homer and two strikeouts. Right-hander John Hudgins, acquired with Vince Sinisi in May 2006 for Freddy Guzman and coming back from Tommy John surgery, saw his first action of 2007, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk in the sixth inning. Baseball America ranked Hudgins as the Rangers’ #6 prospect before the 2005 season. He’s another once highly regarded pitcher from Stanford (Stan Spencer, Jason Middlebrook) who has seen injuries stall his career. The results on Wednesday weren’t great, but the fact that Hudgins threw 21 pitches in an actual game has to be encouraging. As a side note, four of the Rangers’ Top 10 prospects from ’05 are now Padres (Chris Young, #5; Hudgins; Adrian Gonzalez, #8; Sinisi, #10).
  • Obregon 10, Navojoa 4 (box). Oscar Robles, in his familiar #2 spot, went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and two walks. Luis Cruz, batting seventh and playing third base, went 0-for-4.

Dominican League scores were not in as of this writing.

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40 Responses »

  1. On a completely unrelated note… But if any of you out there are Radiohead fans they have a new album available for download from there website. It’s up to you how much you want to pay for it. You can enter any amount you want to pay even 0. It’s a cool idea and the album isn’t bad either. Not their best but still a decent album from a great band. Anyways just an FYI for anyone that cares.

  2. This comment sent to me by a friend who’s a Rox fan …

    I was *very* glad to see Beckett pitch seven innings. If I were in Francona’s shoes, I would have lifted him after five innings with the big lead so I could bring him back for two more starts on one less day’s rest.

    … reminded me of some of the comments here in September about Peavy …

  3. Well if the Red Sox can keep hitting like they did last night they will not need to bring Beckett back on short rest.

  4. It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox do at Cooers with Big Papi and Youk. I’ve heard that they may move Youk to LF, Manny to RF and Ortiz to 1B or Move Youk to 3B, Lowell to SS and Ortiz to 1B. Both would be a serious blow to their defience.

  5. 2: Oh, but Dusty Baker defended it. I think he said it would help to maintain a comparable workload to a possible 100+ pitch effort later in the series.

  6. Re: 5 right cause Baker does not have a track record of over using pitchers.

  7. Just thought of something (hey, it happens): Do folks want a World Series IGD? Take me 2 minutes to set up if y’all will use it…

  8. 4.

    I was thinking the exact same thing. How do you take Papi, Youk or Lowell out on offense and how do you fit all of them in on the field?

    Have I mentioned that I freaking hate the DH?

  9. Re: 8 I think most NL fans do!

  10. 2, 5: If teams made managers take even a community college level course in exercise physiology, that kind of mistake wouldn’t happen. Any human body’s ability to produce physical work in a restricted is a capital sum reduced by expenditure. Sometimes the withdrawals are so small they don’t add up to much; not the case with Beckett or Peavy. Sometimes the body recovers faster than average between efforts, which may be true of Beckett but doesn’t seem to be true of Peavy. But every pitch you throw today increases the recovery time needed before you can throw well in the immediate future. And this isn’t some new cutting-edge theory, people who study exercise and the human body have known about it for decades.

    I wish Baker had been hired by the Dodgers, even though that would mean several young pitchers at risk. Does he really think this is spring training and pitchers need to develop arm strength?

  11. 9.

    It would be one thing if both leagues had the DH (Not my preference) but for the rules of the game to be different boggles my mind. You don’t see the AFC playing 12 men on the field while the NFC goes with 11 or the NBA East not Having a 3 point shot when the West has one. It seems silly to me. How did the whole thing get started anyone know? It’s been like that all my life.

  12. Re: 11 You have to remember that at one point they were two completely separate leagues and the world series was the only thing that connected them, much like the AFL and NFL. Also before interleague play started (which I don’t like) the only time the two leagues would play against each other was the all-star game and the WS. Its not like the NFL, NBA or NHL where it is standard practice to play the other league.

  13. 11: I am pretty sure it was started to generate more offense and bring more fans out to the field.

  14. 12: The only thing i like about interleague is you get to see teams here in SD that we wouldnt normally get to see.

    It is annoying though because alot of the better offensive players go to the AL because if they cant hack it on the field there is still a spot for them on the team. And if they are thrown in the field a few games a year they arent going to hurt your team.

  15. 15: On that note I’d love to see Manny embarrassed in LF in games 3, 4 and 5*.

  16. 16: I completely agree. I really think the Rox are going to fare better at Coors, as the OF is huge and defense is so much more important at Coors than in Boston.

    By the way, did anyone see Manny catch Taveras’ ball last night? Off the bat, I thought it was a gap shot off the wall, but it just died in the rain. Ramirez barely got there.

  17. OT … if you’re a BP subscriber, this is worth reading (BABIP and strikezone data) …

  18. There’s a pic of David Freese behind the plate at MadFriars …

    … in case you need a pic to remind you that that was going on over at Instrucs @ Peoria.

  19. Baseball America’s initial draft report cards are out. You have to subscribe to see the whole thing, and it looks like they maybe released it before they were ready, because it’s accessed through a Chat link and isn’t shown in their Draft section. Anyway, I’ll try to tapdance along the copyright issue……..

    The Padres get 2 mentions. Best Draft and Follow, Matt Latos. And in the coveted “Most Intriguing Background, Non-Baseball Relative Division,” our 35th round pick Ross Wilson placed 4th.

    No SD draftee can be found in the best debut or best tool categories. The debuts are all based on short-season work and aren’t necessarily predictive, but this year a lot of top-ranked prospects before they draft also had great debuts.

    Of players we talked about here, Michael Burgess and Josh Smoker are both represented in multiple categories. I would guess that Luebke came the closest to making the Best Pro Debut list for us, but the college pitchers BA picked had amazing numbers. None of them pitched at 3 levels, but it’s hard to argue with how dominant they were.

    Overall top 5 draft? Not us. The Giants, with a comparable bevy of picks, came in 4th there.

  20. Think how many more runs the Sox would score if they didn’t have Magadan sitting on the bench telling them to slap singles the other way.

  21. 21 … to be clear about something … the link is to the Eugene Emeralds web page at … and the info in it is from “”, which, in this case and for Padres minor league teams in general, is synonymous with “MadFriars” … good stuff … thanks for the link!

  22. 20 … what’s Ross Wilson’s story?

  23. The lineup for the Red Sox at Coors Field is the biggest non-issue I’ve seen. They will do what they have to do, which is sit one player, and their lineup will still be much better than the Rockies’ lineup and more importantly, the Rockies pitchers.

    This brings up a big pet peeve of mine. Every season, some writer does a series position-by-position breakdown comparing Todd Helton to Kevin Youkilis and so on. Well, Helton doesn’t play against Youkilis. It’s not like NBA matchups. The Rockies lineup should be compared to Boston’s pitching and vice versa.

  24. Next issue sure to alienate most posters: It doesn’t matter how long Beckett pitched last night, because the Red Sox will sweep them.

    In analyzing and previewing the series, people on the Rockies’ side said vague things like they have “momentum” or “magic” or “they are unstoppable.” Really? Really?

    Did anyone think to point out that the Rockies won 21 of 22 against the National League, while the Red Sox are the best team in the American League? That’s a vast difference.

  25. Baseball @ USD postponed until next weekend (if necessary, and fire/smoke permitting) …

  26. #27: Thanks for the link, LM. I had no idea such a thing was even scheduled!

  27. 26 … you’re prolly right … but I think the Rox can hit Schilling tonight … and Dice-K seems to be wearing down … and Lester seems like a crap-shoot … so I think the next 3 games are more evenly matched than last night … Jimenez is risk simply because he’s only 23 … Fogg’s only edge is his experience pitching @ Coors … and Cook’s only edge is that he should be well rested … somehow Paul Byrd beat these guys, so it is do-able.

    I’d like to see Beckett @ Coors … and I’ll bet we will …

  28. 24: I assume Wilson was intriguing because he was the QB for the high school football team in MTV’s “Two a Days” and because his older brother is the starting QB for Alabama. We didn’t sign him.

  29. Schilling’s definitely been hittable, and Dice K is really all over the place (sometimes great, sometimes walks 4 in an inning), I think the Rox have a good chance of getting some hits.

    We’ll see how Jimenez responds in Fenway. The games at Coors should be really intriguing, good chance they’ll be high scoring.

    With 20 DHs on the roster, Boston’s Coors OF might look something like this: Ramirez, Elsbury, Youk. Or Ramirez, Drew, Youk. Or 12 other iterations. Those are OK in Fenway, but in Coors . . . not so much.

  30. Anyone else see this (From BA – subscription required)?

    American League Draft Report Cards

    Baltimore Orioles

    Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Tim Bascom (4) had one of the best changeups by a righthanded pitcher in the draft, and his slider also is the best of this draft class.

    Most Intriguing Background: The Padres drafted Bascom in the sixth round in 2006 and had him signed, but Bascom didn’t pass his physical due to a knee injury. Central Florida then declarerd him ineligible for having negotiated a contract, leaving Bascom to pitch in the independent South Coast League leading up to the draft.

  31. OT … Voros McCracken has returned …

    I’m sure some of you would be interested.

  32. Let me be the first to say … that Matt Holliday still hasn’t touched first base either … wow … did that right-arm-action look eerily familiar? Literally a bonehead …

  33. The Red Sox winning makes me sick to my stomach. It’s a shame Tom Werner is winning World Series championships in Boston after the crap he pulled here in San Diego as team owner. Damn you Bud Selig and your slime ball cronies.

  34. OT … see if there’s anything here you find interesting …

  35. Geoff, thanks for the update on Hudgins. I wondered about him last year and did some superficial research, but I was not able to find out about his status. Is Shawn Estes pitching anywhere this Winter ?

  36. Running late this morning, will have something up by 8:15 a.m. PT.

  37. 37: Hudgins seemed like a possible steal when we got him. Not “steal” in terms of huge upside, but a guy you could stash in AAA who would give you a better chance than the Thompson/Stauffer/Cassel class. In the Germano range.

    I should have added Estes to the list of Petco Reclamation Project hopefuls. A pitcher who hasn’t been average since 2001 and hasn’t been good since 1997 should not be on our list of possible solutions to the 4th and 5th starter problem.