I kind of went overboard today…
- Finally on board the sabermetrics revolution (ESPN). Bill Simmons? Oh, my. Good man, and glad to have you with us! [h/t Baseball-Reference]
- Closer Bell opens door on many topics (Padres.com). Heath Bell has nice things to say about teammate Will Venable: “He’s showed a lot more power than I think anyone expected. He’s been very good.”
- Mano a mano (Hardball Times). Jeff Sackmann gives us “a new way to measure amateur prospects” by answering the simple question, “What happens when they go head to head?”
- Minor league club, major league hub (U-T). Several current Padres reminisce about their time playing for the Lake Elsinore Storm. The Diamond is my favorite place to watch a ballgame. From 2001 to 2003, we had a mini-plan and actually attended more games there than at The Q despite the fact that it was an hour further away. We still make it to three or four games a year. If you haven’t been, do yourself a favor and go.
- Bruce Bochy book excerpts (Razzball). I’m not a great fan of April Fools’ Day, but this was good: “I’m smart because my head is naturally humongous. No joke. It’s bigger than Kevin Mench’s. I went through a whole career with one batting helmet that I’d re-paint each time I got traded. They used to call it a ’10 gallon helmet’.”
- Get Your 2010 Results Before the Season Even Begins (Baseball Analysts). They pick the Padres to finish last in the NL West. That seems to be the sexy choice, although I think the Diamondbacks are worse. Sky Andrecheck also talks about the thought process behind making predictions.
- Best In The West? (Friarhood). Brian Koke provides “a ranking of the best players at each position in the National League West. I ranked each player by how valuable I think they are going to be this year compared to the other players in the division.”
- Adrian Gonzalez’s opportunities (Sacrifice Bunt). From Melvin Nieves: “I usually don’t waste effort talking about batting order, the amount of time it gets discussed far outweighs its actual impact on the team. But batting Gwynn Jr. and Eckstein first and second exemplifies a poor approach to decision making.”
- Buehrle steers Opening Day win (MLB.com). Wow. Click on the video to watch Mark Buehrle make a ridiculous play. I’m sure that’s how they practice it in spring training. [h/t Hardball Times]
- Petco Park Tour on Opening Day (Gaslamp Ball). Jbox wanders around the ballpark.
- The Padres Are Not Optimizing Their Lineup (Friar Forecast) Daniel doesn’t like the way Bud Black filled out his lineup card on Opening Day.
- What Opening Day Tells Us (or not) (Baseball Analysts). Bill Parker learns us about the dangers of sample size.
- The Compassionate Umpire (Hardball Times). John Walsh examines the ways in which the strike zone changes as the count changes.
- When is enough for Blanks in left? (Sacrifice Bunt). Ray Lankford is no great fan of the double switch.
- Opening Day, v. 2.0 (FanGraphs). Bryan Smith identifies Padres right-hander Simon Castro as a potential candidate to become the next #1 overall prospect once Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg have exhausted their eligibility.
- Scouting Chris Young With Pitch F/X (Friar Forecast). Daniel scrutinizes Chris Young’s first start of the 2010 season.
- An Organizational Win (It Might Be Dangerous). DePo is back, talking about Cesar Ramos’ 2010 debut.
- What good MLB teams are good at (Boston Globe). This is a fun new toy that I won’t attempt to describe. Just go play with it. [h/t Rob Neyer]
- Number Crunching Has Its Place (Boston Globe). Bob Ryan talks about sabermetrics: “Much of the new baseball math confirms what we once felt in our bones. Didn’t we somehow sense that Matty Alou’s gaudy batting averages were hollow, and really not all that important in the grand scheme of things? Didn’t we somehow sense that players such as Darrell Evans and Graig Nettles, despite modest batting averages, were really quite valuable offensive players?” [h/t reader parlo]
- Another TTM Return! Clayton Richard (San Diego Cardres). From a new (to me) Padres blog focusing on baseball cards: “I’ve also heard Clayton Richard is picking up a lot of the slack from Kevin Kouzmanoff as new Padres heartthrob with the ladies. Good for him. He is one of the very few lefties on the Padres pitching staff, and honestly, with this mediocre Spring, that is probably what got him the slot in the rotation.” I’ve added San Diego Cardres to the list of fine blogs over at PadreBlogs.com. As always, let me know if I’m missing anyone.
- David Eckstein: Man of the people (Sacrifice Bunt). Ray asks: “Has there ever been a more divisive figure in Padres history than David Eckstein?” Probably, though I can’t come up with any names at the moment. I’m still trying to figure out why there’s so much hate for a guy that tries so hard and has overcome a lack of overwhelming talent to get to where he is. Speaking as someone who has been a stathead since the mid-’80s and who is very much aware of Eckstein’s limitations as a ballplayer, I like having a guy who hustles play alongside a bunch of young kids that are trying to establish themselves in the big leagues. On a somewhat amusing note, the last time I defended Eckstein in such a manner, I got called an idiot for acknowledging that he isn’t very good. Really, though, let’s be honest.
- Major League Prime Projections (Baseball Daily Digest). This is “Rob McQuown’s proprietary system for determining the ‘typical’ prime-years season for a minor-league player.” The top 100 rookie-eligible hitters are listed. Checking in at #1? Jaff Decker: .272/.422/.572. Oh, wouldn’t that be nice?
- Drive set Cabrera apart from his Padres’ start (U-T). From Tim Sullivan: “The Padres’ 23-year-old shortstop doesn’t aspire to excellence so much as he stalks it, wearing down its resistance by sustained effort and force of will.” This may be the first mention of “will” (other than Venable) I’ve seen this season. Where’s Schopenhauer when you need him?
- Rancho Bernardo grad Dykstra seeks progress with Storm (NC Times). Quoth Allan Dykstra: “I talked to every single hitting coach the Padres had, and it got to the point where it was almost too much information and it was not good at the time. Finally the hitting coach at (Single-A) Fort Wayne, Tom Tornincasa, got me on the right track and we fixed it.” I’m the guy holding out hope for Dykstra. Maybe I can will him to succeed.
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