As I’ve mentioned, Derek Togerson was kind enough to have me on as a guest of NBC 7/39′s “SportsWrap” this past Sunday evening. Our segment was the Padres preview, so there wasn’t really an opportunity to pimp the book. Still, we had a great time talking baseball. Some highlights:
I cited the continued development of Chase Headley as the most exciting item of the spring and said that we’d see him at some point during the season, but that the left field job probably was Scott Hairston’s for now (we taped this on March 15). I also noted that the Padres wouldn’t bring Headley up as a stopgap solution — an everyday job would need to open up for him, and given the age and injury concerns of Jim Edmonds and Brian Giles, this could happen sooner rather than later.
Derek and I also talked about the rotation. I said that Chris Young’s second half was a fluke related to his oblique problem and that assuming he’s healthy, he’ll be a stud. I said that Randy Wolf should be effective, and the key would be whether he could stay healthy; if the Padres get 25 starts out of him, they’ll be in good shape. For the #5 spot, I advised against expecting anything from Mark Prior and said that I wasn’t excited about our other options.
When Derek asked me to “bottom line” the season, I said the Padres would win 85-86 games but not make the playoffs because the NL West is just too strong. As I did last spring, I picked Arizona to take the division. Derek went with Colorado.
Thanks again to Derek and the gang for having me on the show!
49: We have an above average offense. I don’t know if it is good. It’s better than people think, but other teams come in and hit at Petco, you would think the padres could figure it out, playing 1/2 their season there. Their whole approach changes at Petco it seems.
News Flash … in case it’s not obvious yet … Callix Crabbe is a *great* guy … and a decent hitter … and a good utility glove man … but the guy is a disaster on the bases … today, just for example, he both gets PO’d and CS’d … ug … remember, this is the guy that Fick CS’s in the first spring instrasquad game … I suspect he’ll be red-lighted once the regular season starts … which, based on his spring results, is fine by me.
“I have no idea why the Cubs never gave him a fair shot. He doesnâ€™t have a lot of power for a corner OF but heâ€™s been good at getting on base”
Huge Brewers/NL Central fan here… There’s really no reason – just that they didn’t utilize him properly. Murton isn’t much of a defender, but iirc he’s not horrid. He mashes LHP (career .326/.399/.510/.909) & has been respectable v. RHP (career .280/.346/.425/.771), most notably that he gets on base fairly well v. RHP.
They have Soriano who doesn’t miss much time in LF, and signed Fukudome to play RF (who really won’t be much of an upgrade over the production they had from RF in 2007 anyway). Not sure why Murton didn’t fit in, as Fukudome is a lefty. He’s never gotten a fair shake from the Cubs. He’d seem to fit in well for the Pads.
Padres opponents hit 235/294/336 at Petco while the Padres hit 235/310/378. This led to 323 runs for the Padres and 278 for their opponents. The difference was power — the Padres had 126 2B, 19 3B, 72 HR, while their opponents had 118 2B, 16 3B, 45 HR. The Padres also had 295 walks and HBP while their opponents only had 245. Interestingly, the Padres had only 30 steals at home (with 8 CS) while the opponents had 85 (and 12 CS).
The Padres only outscored their opponents on the road by 30 (418 to 388).
So to say that they collectively haven’t figured out to hit in Petco is incorrect. The only truly awful hitters at home last season (among the returnees) were Greene, who has never hit here, and Giles who has never shown that kind of split before.
#48: Very cool, thanks for the heads-up!
54: Those are two pretty key players in the Padres offense and it hurts to not have them hit at all at home.
I didnt say overall the visiting team hit better than the Padres, but some teams came in and hit well (Baltimore, Philly, Mil). Padres’ pitching actually made it hard for any teams to hit well against them home or away.
50: I swear that I’m not trying to be overly homeristic, but I refuse to understand why everyone is so down on our team. Why on earth are we all of a sudden supposed to plummet back to earth. I don’t think the Rox and the Dodgers will be as good as everyone predicts. The D-Backs should end up being our principal competition.
51: Good, above average, seems like splitting hairs to me. Besides, that was last year and we really need to worry about this year.
BTW, where can you get team stats, not individual, for visiting teams to Petco? I’d be surprised if any other team/s have really hit all that well at Petco except in very small sample sizes.
57 … I think the definition of “homeristic” might be refusing to understand why everyone [else] is so down on our team
I think it’s easy to see OG’s age and recent knee surgery … Edmonds recent performace and injuries … and a lack of anyone “proven” in LF … and be pretty down on the Padres, just for those 3 reasons. Then add to the mix that last year’s #4 starter is a year older and is now the #3 starter, and even the strength of the team (starting pitching) can be seen to have flaws.
I’m OK coming in under the radar … I’d prefer to be a surprise … and that’s what I expect (unless that’s an oxymoron)!
55: You’re welcome. I was totally stoked for you! That is a big ol’ feather in your cap, imo.
Hmmm, thanks for FJ’s blog, I just read this note from a UT article …
The Padres are to send $50,000 or a player to the Royals within 30 days. They preferred Cubs corner outfielder Matt Murton but were unwilling to give up a prospect for him. â€œWe’ve had interest in (Huber) for a couple of years,â€ said General Manager Kevin Towers.
61 … that same UT article had this update on Edmonds …
In his first at-bat since a calf strain sidelined him March 6, Jim Edmonds, appearing in a minor league game, hit a home run, then added two singles in three more at-bats.
Edmonds did not play in center field, and even after the 3-for-4 showing, Black described Edmonds as doubtful for Opening Day. If Edmonds goes on the disabled list, he would be eligible to return April 5.
I guess that makes sense. Murton is clearly better but we don’t know what the Cubs were asking for him. Plus the last time the Padres traded for a Cubs role player it didn’t work out too well (Jose Ceda for Todd Walker).
I got all the stats from Baseball-Reference. The home road splits show the effect Petco Park has — 806 total runs on the road vs. 601 at home. That’s a huge difference.
I’m still fascinated by the lack of understanding of park effects.