I picked up the Bill James Handbook 2008 (aff link), and as always, it’s got all kinds of good stuff inside. Among other things, it contains detailed information on managers and their tendencies. Seeing as how the Padres had a new one of those in ’07 (Bud Black for those just coming out of a coma), I thought it might be instructive to compare him with his predecessor (Bruce Bochy for those… oh, never mind).
Quick caveat before we get too far into this. We have exactly one year’s worth of data for Black, so it’s hard to call any of what he did “tendencies” just yet. Still, it’s what we have, so we’ll use it.
To the tables (numbers in bold denote league leader):
|Key: LUp, number of different lineups used; PL%, percentage of players who had the platoon advantage at the start of the game; PH, pinch hitters used; PR, pinch runners used; DS, defensive substitutes used.|
We see no appreciable difference in the number of lineups used or frequency with which platooning was employed. The items that stand out here are in those two rightmost columns. Bochy used pinch runners and defensive substitutions a lot more than Black. In 12 seasons as manager of the Padres, Bochy led the league in pinch runners used four times. He also averaged 48 defensive substitutions in his three seasons at Petco Park. Black used the latter strategy less than any other manager in MLB last year.
|Key: Quick, quick hooks; Slow, slow hooks; LO, long outings by starting pitchers; RCD, relievers used on consecutive days; LS, long saves; Rel, relievers used. (You’ll need to buy the book to get precise definitions for some of these, but you get the general idea.)|
This surprises me. It often seemed as though Black stuck with his starters (especially the old guys) too long, but reality indicates otherwise. Black was more protective of his starting pitchers and a little more liberal in his usage of relievers — at least in his first year — than Bochy. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that Black was a starting pitcher for most of his career?
|Key: SBA, stolen base attempts; SacA, sacrifice bunt attempts; RM, runners moving with the pitch; PO, pitchouts ordered.|
The reduction is stolen base attempts is largely a function of the fact that Black didn’t have Josh Barfield and Dave Roberts at his disposal. Sacrifices? Pretty much everyone in the National League (except Clint Hurdle, who never tires of the tactic) bunts the same amount. Black doesn’t get the runners moving as often as Bochy, who was famous for the move. Well, marginally well known for it, anyway. Black loved pitchouts — called more of ‘em than any other manager in baseball. Heck, he called more of ‘em than Bochy did over the span of three full seasons at Petco Park. I would like to see a breakdown of how often Black’s pitchouts were successful. It sure seemed like they didn’t help any. Then again, I’m not even sure why the Padres were pretending to hold runners. When guys are that slow the plate, there’s not much you can do.
|Key: #, intentional walks issued; Good, intentional walks resulting in a good outcome; NG, intentional walks not resulting in a good outcome; Bomb, intentional walks blowing up on the manager. (Again, refer to the book for precise definitions.)|
Black didn’t issue as many free passes as Bochy, but they sure came back to bite him more often.
|Key: Seriously, if you have to ask…|
Black ran into an insanely hot Colorado team. Bochy ran into an insanely cold St. Louis club that got hot at the Padres’ expense and won the World Series. Otherwise, not much difference.
- Hermosillo 9, Culiacan 7 (box). Marshall McDougall, batting second and playing second base, went 1-for-5.
- Mexicali 9, Navojoa 0 (box). Oscar Robles, still at DH, walked in four trips to the plate. Luis Cruz, batting seventh and playing shortstop, went 1-for-4 with a double.
- Mazatlan 1, Guasave 0 (box). Brian Myrow, batting third and playing first base, drew three walks and laid down a sac bunt (which set up the game’s only run). Yep, the good ol’ 0-for-0.
There it is. Happy Wednesday…