Over at SweetSpot, we’ve assigned letter grades to each team two months into the season. I gave the Padres a grade of F but tried to accentuate the positive, finishing my writeup with a snappy one-liner: “Also, they don’t owe Carlos Lee $37 million over the next two years, so there’s that.”
I hope it’s snappy. That’s what I was going for anyway.
But seriously, can you imagine how much worse the Padres’ situation would be if they had Lee’s contract on their hands? We complain about Ryan Ludwick, who clearly isn’t the player he was a few years ago (although apparently there is a campaign to get him to the All-Star Game as a participant), but at least he is relatively inexpensive. To the obligatory chart:
Player Age PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ Yr/$ TmRec Ryan Ludwick 32 220 .258 .320 .414 109 1/7* 24-31 Carlos Lee 35 215 .251 .284 .384 87 2/37 21-34
*Okay, it’s actually $6.775, but I didn’t want to make the column wider. So in the interest of saving space, I added this long-ass footnote instead, which makes as much sense as paying Lee $37 million over the next two seasons.
There is unmovable, and then there is unmovable. The fact that the Padres don’t have Lee made me consider pushing their grade up to D-minus.
Ludwick, for his part, collected four hits in the Padres’ 5-4 victory over the Braves in Atlanta on Tuesday. He is 10-for-20 over the past week, and the Padres have won a season-high four straight games… all on the road.
W L RS RA Home 9 20 65 116 Away 15 11 122 96
The only National League teams with better road records are St. Louis (18-13) and Florida (17-10). Those two teams are contending right now because they don’t have MLB’s worst home record (I’m told it helps).
Meanwhile, folks are still whining about Petco Park. And while “Why do the Padres play so poorly at home” is a valid question, there is another one that isn’t being asked…
Since Petco Park opened in 2004, the Padres own a .487 road winning percentage. During that same stretch, all MLB teams own a .454 winning percentage. Never mind for the moment that the Padres yield nearly that same advantage (.518 vs MLB average of .546) at home, what I want to know is this: Why do the Padres play so well on the road?