Friday Links (25 Apr 08)

I’m pressed for time this morning, so links are offered with minimal commentary (and there was much rejoicing):

Whoomp, there it is…

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , ,

40 Responses »

  1. Well, CY looked great last nite.

  2. #1@Phantom: ha yeah I’m glad the Padres have him and Jake locked up for several years otherwise they maybe counting down the days until they can start looking for team that won’t make them pay for making one mistake in 7 innings…

  3. Thought you guys might like a line that Buster Olney used to discuss a trade that the Reds made last year sending Austin Kearns to the Nationals…

    “…we are not going to look back in the same vein as Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio or Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton.”

    If people are starting to compare those two trades, then that is a darn good thing!

    Oh yea, I am thankful I did not watch that game last night. I could not imagine how PO’d I would be if I stayed up until 1am (Eastern) to watch that 1-run debacle.

  4. binging in the fences at petco might help. That idea would be easy to test. Count the number of balls that go the warning track. But I think its more the thickness of the marine air and the swirling wind. We need UCSD and SDSU scientists to analyze the problem. Be a fun post graduate project from somebody.

  5. PM…I think someone over the last day or two made the best point regarding the field…stop worrying about the field and start poking the front office about building a team that can’t seem to take advantage of the ballpark. We have a station to station team with questionable defense at MOST positions.

    Colorado and Texas have wonderful parks full of high scoring, fun games…but there is also little chance of them sustaining winning teams b/c of the strain it puts on pitching. I like Petco’s dimentions and love the fact that it is difficult to hit here. We need to get some guys with 1st to 3rd speed (at a min) that can play good defense and have moderate power. 2006 Mike Cameron was probably a perfect model…Good D, OBP north of .340, moderate power, and solid speed. (He did K too much, but not everyone is perfect and I am simply pointing to a reference.)

  6. Yeah CM, probably correct. But as somebody else pointed out, its not easy to find these type of hitters. It took Col years to figure out the kind of team that worked at Coors and it turned out to be the ball.

    In other news, for all you triathletes, ocean swimmers, surfers etc. Fatal shark attack off Fletcher cove this morning, apparently a surfer. Doubt I’ll be taking my usual Sunday morning swim now. Wow.

    Now back to baseball.

  7. One of many problems with pulling the fences in is you’d have to pull them in pretty far to make a difference. Not only would that hurt our pitching but on the days when the air is lighter it would play like Coors or one of the bandbox parks in Cincy or Houston. Balls would be flying out of here. I guess if that’s what people want then go for it. But I think even now our pitching benefits more than it hurts our offense and that could be mitigated by having one or two speedy gap hitters on the roster and realizing that one run strategies are more important in a low scoring environment.

  8. #6@PM: The key is separating the really important part of those hitters (OBP, enough power, good speed even if its not base-stealing speed) from what isn’t (high average, bunting ability, looks good in a uniform). They’re still not easy to find, but it’s easier than searching for the next Crawford.

    Every regular, except PMac and Hairston, have had extended sucess in the majors. I don’t expect 5/8 of the lineup to continue struggling; it didn’t last year, when we suffered through similar offensive droughts in April, May, and July.

    Edmonds is the only player who might simply be finished.

  9. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post just reported on ESPN First Take that during a lenghty conversation with Kevin Towers yesterday, he was told not to be surprised if the Pads joined the youth movement in the NL West by bringing up Venable, Headley, Hundley, and Antonelli. Of course, the flashed up the quartet’s numbers this year in AAA and Antonelli and Headley appear to be really struggling. Venable, oth, is hitting .384 and hundley as 4 dingers….

  10. Not to think that anyone here cares nearly enough about what I think, but I just posted an extensive blog at GaslampBall that examines the starting pitching we’ve faced so far and the places we’ve played. It’s very rudimentary, and I suspect that there are others (I’m looking at you, MB), who could expand on it and do a better job. Regardless, if you’d like a little hope this morning, please check it out: http://www.gaslampball.com/2008/4/25/460479/our-suspicions-have-been-c

  11. #9@Marsh: I thought Venable was out Indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

  12. 11: I have no idea. Just the messenger. Though, if I were to interpret Tower’s move here, it is to use the national media to light some fires up some players behinds.

  13. #12@KRS1: On the bright side, we are in the Top 25!!!

  14. #10@Phantom: I like it. When I saw the probables for the Giants series were Cain and Lincecum I thought to myself we sure seem to be facing the aces of every staff. This may just keep me away from the ledge. Looking at the probables for the next few games we’ve got Johnson, Owings, Webb, and Hamels. Ick, possibly back on the ledge.

  15. #10@Phantom:

    Awesome, Phantom. Funny thing, I just mentioned looking at starters faced in my last post on my blog. Very cool stuff …

  16. Thisi fact about last night’s game just makes me sick:

    • Rich Aurilia’s home run last night accounted for the only run in the game. Good for him. That was Aurilia’s first home run of the season. It was also his first run of the season, which is pretty amazing considering last night’s game was Aurilia’s 21st of the season. What’s even more amazing is that Aurilia is the closest thing the Giants have to an everyday first baseman. That’s not cool.

  17. #17@MB: Thanks for the kind words. I’d be curious to see where we sit in regards to the entire NL, but I don’t have the time or patience to generate that.

    This weekend’s probable starters just reinforce the crap luck we’re having in this regard.

  18. #19@Phantom: Hmm … just checked and BP does that: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php

    It’s AEQR, which is adjusted for opponents pitching. Now, they have the Padres facing essentially average pitching. I’m not sure how they go about doing this, though — whether by projections or actual performance so far, which would obviously make a difference.

  19. #19@Phantom: They do? Arent Johnson and Owings #3 and #4? Webb is tough, but didnt we hit Johnson last time?

  20. I sat in the best seats in the house last night, and that did nothing to temper how agonizing this team is to watch. Very soon KT will have to decide,if this team is better than they are showing, or if the problem is simply LOFT.

  21. Did not know if y’all saw this last week, but Forbes threw out their annual review/valuation of MLB and the teams…

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/33/biz_baseball08_The-Business-Of-Baseball_Rank.html?boxes=custom

    Interesting to note that the Pads were #8 in baseball in Operating Income (EBITDA) with $23.6mm estimated.

  22. #21@SDSUBaseball: Owings is a pretty good pitcher and a lot of that gets lost because of his bat.

    We lit up Johnson before, but that’s not to say it will keep happening. He pitched very well last year and I expect it’s only a matter of time before he gets his control back.

  23. Here is the Forbes Padres summary:

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/33/biz_baseball08_San-Diego-Padres_336838.html

    Here is what I found to be most interesting:

    “The San Diego Padres are being squeezed by their debt service on Petco Park. The team financed $173 million of Petco Park’s $285 million cost and owns 30% of the stadium. But nonbaseball events have been slow to come to the ballpark, and last season’s budget included a reported $14 million cash contribution from owner John Moores. The Padres will probably need more capital calls to increase their player payroll. For the past few years Moores has used his own money to build the franchise, investing in a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, improvements to Petco Park and a bigger bonus pool for amateur talent.”

  24. #20@MB: Thanks for pointing that out. I too would be curious to see how that is calculated.

    I fully affirm that the way I did things isn’t ideal. I used last year’s numbers to get as close an approximation as possible.

  25. #25@Coronado Mike: Incidentally, the Dominican complex opens this coming Wednesday.

  26. #24@Phantom: I just dont know how unlucky we are with them though, they just have a good pitching staff. We are facing the 2 weakest ones.

  27. #26@Phantom: BP also has a statistic called “Batter’s Quality of Pitchers Faced.” I don’t see that they break it down my team, only by individual batters. And it’s based on the pitchers’ performance so far this year.

    But it seems clear when you look at the lists, that the Padres are really middle of the pack in the quality of pitchers they have faced. The Giants, Nationals, and Brewers have faced the toughest pitching. The Mets, Pirates, Rockies and Reds all seem to have faced tougher pitching than the Padres.

    FWIW, the Cardinals, Marlins and Cubs seem to have faced the weakest pitching thus far.

  28. #28@SDSUBaseball: According to BR, Owings is nowhere near the bottom 2 this year.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ARI/2008.shtml

  29. #31@LynchMob: Lack Of [Expletive] Talent.

  30. #31@LynchMob:

    Lack Of … ahem …. Talent

  31. Did anyone catch the new episode of LOFT last night?

    I think it may have actually been a repeat, because San Francisco won.

  32. #31@LynchMob: An old golf joke. “Your only problem is loft.”

  33. #35@Field39: That’s certainly always been the problem with my golf game.

  34. So that’s what my golf buddies were trying to tell me … thanks … I may still suck at golf, but now I’ll be a bit more hip to the lingo.

  35. #26 Phantom; Those are some valid points, but we have struggled offensively against many ordinary or even subpar pitchers too. The game that stands out for me is the Sanchez game in SF. 6IP, 0R, 3H, 10K, 2BB. Perhaps he pitched the game of his life, I dont know.

    And Francis and Billingsley had both struggled this April, but pitched very well against the Padres. Francis gave up 5,7,and 4 runs in three starts. In his start against the Padres he was 7IP, 0R, 3H, 7K, 1BB. Billingsley has given up 4,4, and 5 runs in three starts. He went five innings giving up 1R, 4H, 2BB, and striking out 8. Again, that was his best start of the month.
    There is more than bad luck at work here.

  36. #38@parlo: There is certainly more than bad luck at play, but there has been some bad luck. Being three games under .500 in one-run games is largely a matter of poor luck. Also, the team’s batted ball data suggests a higher wOBA than their actual output, though that can partially be explained by park, I guess.

  37. #39Richard,
    You cannot take a lineup that leads the league in strikeouts, and only look at their Batted Ball numbers.