My latest at Hardball Times is all about the Friars, who continue to defy expectations by playing well and leading the National League West in late May. Here’s a little snippet from the section on Chase Headley:
If nothing else, Headley has enjoyed greater success in 2010 than his predecessor, Kevin Kouzmanoff. Beyond the fact that Headley draws a walk at least once a week, the actual gap in defensive performance has been much smaller than the perceived gap, as expressed by those who thought Kouzmanoff deserved the NL Gold Glove in 2009 on the basis of his three errors:PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ BB/PA ISO FPct RF/9 Headley 192 .286 .333 .377 100 .073 .091 .952 2.77 Kouzmanoff 180 .265 .294 .359 78 .033 .094 .967 2.81
I also discovered something interesting about Mike Adams while researching the piece. He doesn’t like baserunners:
Going back a little further, this appears to be a pattern with Adams:Bases empty Runners on Year PA BA OBP SLG BB SO PA BA OBP SLG BB SO 2008 153 .169 .229 .275 11 46 106 .269 .317 .452 8 28 2009 93 .091 .140 .114 5 35 43 .158 .220 .237 3 10 2010 52 .102 .154 .163 3 18 25 .333 .440 .571 4 4
I don’t know what this says other than maybe Bud Black could be more careful about bringing Adams in during the middle of an inning. Whatever the case, Adams is one of the few pitchers on the Padres staff who is not performing to his capabilities. He hasn’t been causing the team to play over its head, and he could improve.
Read the article; it’s a bit long but I think it gives a good idea of where this team is at and where it could be headed. My conclusion (“Four months is plenty of time to take a big fall”) might be overly harsh, but I don’t think this is a 96-win team. Then again, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to defend my preseason prediction of 75 wins. And that’s just fine by me.