IGD: Padres vs Nationals (29 May 08)

Wil LedezmaPadres (20-34) vs Nats (23-31)
Wil Ledezma vs John Lannan
12:35 p.m. PT
no television
AM 1090, FM 105.7, XM 188

Afternoon game in San Diego.

Tagged as: , , , ,

195 Responses »

  1. #140@BigWorm: I must be that unsophisticated type of fan, because I believe it is always better to win than lose. While there may be times that you are building rather than reaping, the mindset of everyone in the organization should be winning.

  2. #148@BigWorm: You are way off on this one. The number one pick is far and away the most valuable pick in the draft and it’s not even particularly close. I’ll try to find the article but Baseball Prospectus studied the relative value of the picks and you’d be surprised at how much more valuable the #1 pick was vs. the #2 (and on down).

    #142@BigWorm: I never said that the Padres should have picked up Josh Hamilton, just that he was out there. Obviously someone knew that he’d have some value, unfortunately it wasn’t the Padres.

    #132@BigWorm: Obviously I’d rather make the playoffs. But if the choice was 65 wins and the first pick and 75 wins and the fifth, I’d rather them finish with 65. I’m not sure everyone would agree but I suspect that those who’d rather see the 75 wins won’t go to the games anyway so what does it matter?

  3. #150@Richard: No, it’s not. Show me the last 10 years, 20 years, 30 years of #1 picks vs. #2 – #5 picks and you will see plenty of #1 flame-outs, and probably similar statistics from those 5 spots. Yes, you have your A-Rods and Mark Priors. But you also have plenty of Matt Bush’s, Bryan Bullingtons, Matt Andersons, and Paul Wilsons.

    It’s hard to look at it like that because clearly (especially lately), teams have drafted more towards signability than talent. But still, if you were able to identify the #1 most talented guy (at the time of the draft) and the next four guys after him I’m guessing you would see a small difference in their major league careers.

  4. #148@BigWorm: No, it’s absolutely true. Rany Jazayerli did an exhaustive study of the draft. You can find it on Baseball Prospectus under “Doctoring the Numbers.” The difference between the 1st overall pick and any other pick represents the greatest gap in value. Here’s a quote:

    “Historically, the #1 overall pick has returned at least 40% more value than any other draft slot. After the first pick, the typical return on a draft pick falls 4-5% per slot until approximately the 40th pick, and then drops by a little over 1% per slot until pick #100.”

    That doesn’t mean you can’t find great players later, or that 1st rounders don’t bust (Batt Mush). But why would you bet on outliers when the evidence tells you that you’re throwing away 40%?

  5. #148@BigWorm: OK, found the article. I think it’s a subscriber only page but here’s the link:


    It has some charts (I’d e-mail them to anyone who wants them) and some general conclusions. Here is the main one:

    Draft Rule #1: The greatest difference in value between consecutive draft picks is the difference between the first and second picks in a draft.

    “The typical #1 overall pick is worth more than 46 WARP in the first 15 years of his career; no other draft slot comes within even 10 wins of that total. Just as importantly, the benefits of the #1 overall pick do not extend to the #2 pick; in fact, historically, the #2 pick has been worth slightly less than the #3 and #4 picks, and from that point random variation kicks in and strongly influences the downward progression for the rest of the first round.”

  6. #148@BigWorm: I think there are usually a few guys who stand out above the others. No baseball amateur can be considered ‘can’t miss’, but there usually are a few who are pretty close. With that said, it probably doesn’t make a difference if the Padres pick 1 or 10 because they are always ‘financially responsible’ and will not pick the best player if his contract demands exceed their budget. My point is, if they pick first, they’d probably pick the same guy they could get if picking at #15.

    Either way, speaking as a ‘super-duper fan’ who follows the minor league system religiously, I still am one happy Padre fan whenever they win, no matter how bad the team is.

    Football is a different story. When the Chargers are bad, I actually hope they end up with the worst record because the #1 pick in the NFL is more valuable and can be traded. They traded two #1 picks for LT, Phillip Rivers, Merriman, Kaeding, and those guys helped right away.

    Different story in baseball. I’m not hoping my team loses so they can maybe draft the best player who they might be able to sign so he might be able to help the team in a few years.

  7. #147@LynchMob: You are correct. And most of my thoughts on the subjuct are based mainly on my own personal feelings rather than any stats. I’ll freely admit that.

    OT: I’m in this blog everyday during the IGD except when I’m at work, I’ve have a T. Gwynn brick, and will attent 20 or so games this season regardless of their record. Am I an ‘Average Fan’ or a ‘Super Duper Fan?’ I need some clarification on this.

  8. #151@Field: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling you unsophisticated. I 100% agree with you, the big league club should always be focused on winning unless they are in such a small market that winning every year is just not feasibly possible. The Padres should be focused on the playoffs every year. This year, it’s not going to happen and I would be fine if they cut bait and moved towards winning next year. I am not fine with them losing games SOLELY to pick up the #1 pick next year.

    #152@Schlom: I would love to read that BP article, please find it. I’m guessing that the data has some serious outliers, like A-Rod and Ken Griffey, but even so I would bet that the difference is not as great as you are making it out to be. . .probably minimal.

    You are also making it sound like the Padres only have two choices – 75 wins and a 5 – 15 pick, or 65 wins and the #1 pick. Obviously, given the choice between the two I would prefer the latter, as long as it comes with trades and moves to make the team competitive next year. If we lose more games, get the #1 pick and get stuck with this same lineup, I won’t be happy.

  9. As down on Jody Gerut as I am (although I’d certainly wouldn’t mind if he’s the 4th outfielder) it could be worse, the Mets and their $137m payroll are starting Fernando Tatis at LF tonight against the Dodgers (and Endy Chavez in RF). Looks like both NY GM jobs are going to open this upcoming off-season.

  10. #152@Schlom: I would honestly rather win 75 games.

  11. #158@BigWorm: It’s in #155.

    I understand what you are saying, in that you don’t want them to obviously punt the season — I don’t think anyone wants that. The problem is that obviously, the Padres aren’t going to make the playoffs this season. So what should be the goal the rest of the season? Bring up the young players, even the ones that aren’t ready, and have them learn on the job? But then you’d be starting their arbitration clocks and free agency clocks earlier then you should. In that case, signing players like Estes, Ledezma and Gerut is good business sense and good baseball sense.

    Teams have a fine line between contending and rebuilding — rare is the team like the A’s this season that do both. Look at the Rays, they are in great shape at the moment but it took 10 years of losing to put this team together. We don’t want the Padres to do that. Our best case scenario was something like the Cardinals this season — unfortunately we got unlucky with our scrap heap pickups or acquired the wrong players.

  12. #158@BigWorm: No one’s suggesting they punt the season. But the research says what it says. Arod and Griffey aren’t outliers, they were legitimately terrific talents who were picked first. Bush would be an outlier, but he wasn’t part of the study.

    Yes, the worst-case scenario would be to lose 92 games and get stuck picking 8th.

    The difference between football and baseball isn’t only that football rookies are expected to contribute immediately. It’s also that “your” football team plays once a week, for 3.5 or 4 hours. Even a bad football season, call it 5-11, represents 44 hours of pain. A baseball team that loses 100 games puts its fans through a much worse grind. Day after day after day it’s bad baseball.

  13. re: Hamilton

    Sure, the Reds took a shot on him, and it worked out.

    But no team, no thinking team, thought he had a shot paying off. He was done. “Real Sports” did a story on him late in the 2006 season. In that piece, scouts said it’s nice that he has turned is life around, but he’s not a prospect. Not even close.

    He returned to baseball in 2006. That season in 50 at-bats in rookie ball, he was bad — .687 OPS. In 2007, he was great in 40 at-bats in Triple-A — 1.097. Not a great sample size. Not even the Reds could have thought he would tear it up in the majors.

  14. Oops, you beat me to it.

    Alright, three things: First, I’m not a BP subscriber. Second, 46 WARP over 15 years doesn’t sound like a whole lot to me but I’m not the most sophisticated stats guy.

    Third, I’m getting pulled WAY far away from my point, which isn’t to argue the merits of the 1st vs. the 2nd pick. My point was that by rooting for the Padres to lose so that they get the kid from State (which I am not saying anyone is doing), you are betting on an unknown quantity. You are betting that they A) lose enough to finish last and B) the kid from State does not get hurt / flame out / whatever else that is bad could happen.

    One more thing: Can someone certify that the kid from state is head and shoulders above whoever the next guy would be? Or that he is even the #1 talent?

  15. #160@Richard Wade: Any particular reason? Just the general embarrassment of finishing with the worst record in baseball or figuring that even if they do have the first pick they’d probably screw it up anyway? Or the fact that the team should try to win as many games as possible during the current season and not worry about future seasons?

  16. #152@Schlom: Who were we going to trade for Hamilton? Maybe Cincy would have gone for Chris Young, if they weren’t worried about his flyball tendencies in that park. But we didn’t have an arm like Volquez to give up.

    Young might have been worth it, if we’d gone after a free agent arm to replace him.

  17. #165@Schlom: A team should always try to win every game. If not, why play? Do you really want your favorite team to tank or not try? That’s abhorrent. That’s why the lottery started in the NBA. So no team is assured of the No. 1 pick.

    I would consider switching teams if I thought the Padres were trying to do that.

  18. #166@Tom Waits: I think he’s talking about when the Reds signed Hamilton after he was off drugs.

  19. #163@Kevin: Gerut had 170 at-bats at the big league level and 48 at-bat in the minors in 2005 and didn’t play at all in 2006-2007. OK, that’s slightly more then Hamilton played the 3 previous season before the Reds acquired him in the Rule V draft before the 2006 season but not a lot more. Considering his greater pedigree and potential (although admittedly as a drug addict he might have been too much of a pain in the a**) if you are going to gamble with Jody Gerut why wouldn’t you gamble on Josh Hamilton. It’s not like it would have cost anything.

    #164@BigWorm: Here’s a question from an espn.com chat with Baseball America’s Jim Callis:

    Nuke (By The Bay): Jim- If Stephen Strasburg were in this draft, where do you think he’d go? How does he compare to Matusz and Crow?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:19 PM ET ) Strasburg, who’s only a sophomore at San Diego State, would be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick. He’d rate ahead of Brian Matusz and Aaron Crow, the top two pitching prospects in this draft.

  20. #165@Schlom: Short answer: I prefer winning to losing.

    Longer answer: I think there has to be a balance between planning/playing for the future versus the present. I’d rather see the Padres play at as high a level as possible. If you finish with 75 wins after rebounding in the second half of the season, that’s something to build on for next year. Also, since the Padres don’t have the worst team in baseball they’d have to get worse to finish with the worst record in baseball and I’m not particularly fond of that idea.

  21. #169@Schlom: I don’t think we had one of the top two picks in that year’s Rule 5 draft and Hamilton was picked third. What’s your point?

  22. #169@Schlom: Hamilton was coming off a heroin addiction and had not played professional baseball for three seasons and had never played major league baseball.

    You don’t take a chance on him for the same reason no one took a chance on Brien Taylor three years after he was in baseball. Another No. 1 pick with troubles. That’s why no other team beisdes the Reds thought it was a good idea.

    I’m not saying picking up Gerut was the greatest move ever. But you are ripping the front office for taking a chance on a 750,00 to 1 shot instead of a 1 million to 1 shot or vice versa. It doesn’t matter.

    That’s what makes Hamilton story so great: If the Reds made the same move a million times, it might work out a few times.

  23. #167@Kevin: That’s certainly not true. Why do pitchers have pitch counts? Why did they put Peavy on the DL? All decisions have to be balanced against how they would effect the future.

    #166@Tom Waits: I was talking about the 2006 Rule V draft. The Cubs took Hamilton 3rd and then he was sold to the Reds for cash. I’d forgotten that a main reason he missed from 2003-2006 was because he was suspended by either the team (2003) or MLB (2004-June 2006).

  24. #163@Kevin: Hamilton’s a phenomenal story. He still needs to stay healthy, and it’s not like Cincy got jobbed with Volquez. But that’s immense talent to do what he’s done after basically not playing for years.

    #164@BigWorm: Are people pulling you away from your point? Because when the research says there’s a huge gap in value between the first pick and every other pick, and you reply with “That’s just not true. Not even close,” it sounds like that IS your point.

    It’s not getting the kid from SDSU that would be important. It’s getting the 1st pick, which might or might not be used on him. Right now he’s considered the top talent for the 2009 draft. The reason many here talk about him, besides his being an Aztec, is that he might be the rare #1 pick on talent who the Padres wouldn’t need to go to extravagant lengths to sign. Over slot, almost surely, but maybe not record-breaking.

  25. #171@Richard Wade: Since he was traded for cash it didn’t matter where you picked.

    #172@Kevin: Hamilton and Taylor aren’t quite the same thing since Taylor shredded his pitching arm — there was no red flags on Hamilton on strictly a performance issue (he injured his knee that prematurely ended his 2006 season but that’s not really that big of a deal).

    Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have picked up either but as I said, if you are going to gamble on someone who had missed significant time over the past few seasons, wouldn’t you want the guy with the huge potential.

    Personally, I’d like to ask Towers if he ever thought of picking up Hamilton and his reasoning behind his decision. And then the same thing with for Jody Gerut. I think that’s a fair question to ask.

  26. #168@Kevin: Yeah.

    #167@Kevin: That should be modified by circumstance. I thought it was near criminal of Baker to throw Volquez on Sunday. It might have been his throw day, but pitching in a game is different than throwing on the side, and it’s a tilt between two last place teams. It’s a golden arm.

    #170@Richard Wade: Not sure I buy that teams “build on” past seasons. What I’d hope for is they use the rest of 2008 (barring a miracle comeback) to find out which players could help next year, while protecting players like Peavy and Young. Might as well save some mileage on those arms. Seems to me the Padres future would be best served by trading players like Maddux, Wolf, Iguchi, Barrett, etc., who would help the team get to 75 wins this year but be gone the next.

  27. #176@Tom Waits: At the same time I don’t think that the Padres should rush anyone. They certainly shouldn’t bring up Antonelli — if he’s not ready for the majors they should leave him down in the minors which it financially advantageous. Same thing with the younger pitchers although I’d probably bring up Leblanc and Geer as they are older and probably can’t learn that much more in Triple A.

  28. #174@Tom: You are correct, I did state that. It was about 40 posts down from my original point which I was trying to get back to. I never wanted to get into an argument over the merits of the #1 vs. the #2 pick. Just the merits of hoping the club finished in last place so they could get the #1 pick. In fact, my original point was that the vast majority of fans won’t give a hoot if we get the #1 pick in the draft, but the two were related.

    If you somehow missed that then I’m sorry you picked up my posts 3/4 of the way through a conversation. Try starting at the beginning next time. I specifically stated that I would prefer winning 65 games and getting the #1 pick if that pick was a known quantity. At this time it isn’t.

    No one answered my other question – how significant is the difference? 46 (?) WARP over 15 years. . .is that a lot? I honestly don’t know.

  29. re: Hamilton

    I know he had lots of talent. But what chances do you think he had of paying off when the Reds picked him up?

  30. #173@Schlom: That has little to do with what I said. I don’t they should throw Peavy or Young when they are not ready.

    But the suggestion seems to be the Padres should lose 100 or more games on purpose or by trading away every player worth anything — except for Peavy and Gonzalez — for better draft position. I would rather have Kouzmanoff than whoever the No. 1 is going to be, because no one is a sure thing.

  31. #178@BigWorm: Your inability to stay on topic is not my responsibility. How many times did you cast doubt on the difference in value between picks? You’re now attempting to insult me because I actually FOLLOWED your posts rather than paying attention only to one? Good one.

    If you can’t be bothered to read the other research people have posted, don’t expect me to point out what WARP is. It ain’t that hard to figure out. Try starting at Baseball Prospectus.

  32. #176@Tom Waits: I think my statement in 167 is being really misunderstood. Baker treated that game like it was Game 7 of the World Series.

    Baker should be fired about five reasons this year, anyway.

    I was responding to the implication that the Padres should go for a big losing seaon either by trying to do so or trading away a bunch of good players. To see that as letting Peavy throw 120 pitches every four days is silly.

  33. AP notes: Padres right-hander Chris Young, whose nose was broken by a line drive by Albert Pujols on May 21, was scheduled to see a doctor on Thursday afternoon. Manager Bud Black said the main concern is with a small fracture in Young’s skull. Black also said Young will probably need surgery to straighten his septum. … The Padres tied a franchise record with 15 home runs in the homestand, which lasted 10 games. They had 15 homers in a homestand twice before, both lasting 11 games.

  34. #181@Tom: I never said that was your responsibilty. I tried to steer the conversation back towards my original point. You in turn tried to state that my original point was something other than it really was. I’m sorry you can’t wrap your head around that one.

    And I never asked what WARP is, I asked how significant that number was – 46 WARP over 15 years. Seriously, do I need to spell out every single one of my posts for you?

  35. #182@Kevin: I figured that’s what you meant, just wanted a little clarity. Teams should always try to win without being self-defeating. And again, I don’t think anybody is saying the team should deliberately lose games. But if they can bring in talent by trading away veterans, and then lose more 2008 games than they would have by keeping them, they have to do it. Not to get a prime draft pick, just for the players they’d get in trade.

  36. #185@Tom Waits: Sure, I can see that. But this season still has to be sort of tryout time for some. A lot of people wanted to trade Kouzmanoff for a bag of balls last month.

  37. #184@BigWorm: Again, if it was your main point, don’t wander off and then cry that people “pulled” you off-course. To be clear, I asked “Are people pulling you away from your point?” which is a request for clarification, because if that was so, it seemed that you’d changed tacks. Then you threw a tantrum about me not paying attention. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I wouldn’t have asked the question.

    If you understood what WARP was, you’d understand whether 46 WARP is significant or not. So again, look to yourself before looking to others. Put another way, ask yourself if the problem is that other people can’t understand, or that you’re not being clear.

    Now I’m off to watch Jack, Kate, Sawyer, et al. Feel free to complain that somehow my decision to watch TV is a misinterpretation of your stance on pitcher values or sacrifice bunts.

  38. #123@Tom Waits: Backup catchers seem to get away with the no hit, good defense tag. Carlin is obviously not a major league hitter –notice how late he is on a major league fastball ? You simply don’t see many major league hitters get blown away that easily with a 89-90 mph.

  39. In honor of the AWESOMENESS that is Lost, I’m neither reading nor responding to any further comments in this thread, and I apologize for brawling with BigWorm on a day when the Padres won in thrilling fashion and JJ Abrams proves that he doesn’t always forget his path.

  40. #187@Tom: Too funny. Ooooh, yay, a pissing match! I’ll play!

    “Crying”? “Throwing a tantrum”? I think you need to re-read your posts and see if those phrases apply. Here is a hint – they do.

    Like I said, the conversation took a turn and I tried to move it back to my original point. You then stated that my original point was something other than it really was. If you STILL don’t understand that, then I give up. Seriously, I give up.

    And I don’t even know why we are arguing about this – we agree on the original point for the most part. I agree that the Padres should trade vets and play for next year. Isn’t that the gist of the conversation?

    Understanding what WARP is and knowing whether or not 46 WARP over 15 years is significant are not the same. Do you understand how points are kept in a basketball game? Could you tell me how significant player A scoring 5,000 more points than player B over the length of their careers is? Not a perfect analogy, but it works. . .

    Honestly dude, take a step away from the computer, take a deep breath, think of your happy place. . .we have ended up arguing about what we were arguing about. And sorry if this sound like I am “crying” about getting off topic.

  41. #189@Tom Waits, #190@BigWorm: No pissing matches in my house. Please take this off line.

  42. .296/.391/.424 OPS+ 125
    .305/.407/.422 OPS+ 115

    OG’s and Fukudome’s lines are very similar.

  43. All chill…..OT

    Lakers win. I grew up there. Sorry but it’s in my genes. GY: Feel free to delete my comment. No worries.


  44. OK, guys.

    Here’s WARP. It’s not that hard to find. Now, make nice.