Me, Elsewhere: Extreme Ballparks of the NL West

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) revisits a familiar topic, with an added wrinkle. We know that the Padres, who play half their games in baseball’s least hitter-friendly environment, enjoy less of a home-field advantage than many other teams. Replace “least” and “less” with “most” and “more,” and we’re talking about the Rockies.

The wrinkle is that both teams are playing worse at home than usual. I won’t go into all the details (that’s what the article is for), but chew on this:

          |      Padres      |       MLB        |     Rockies
Year(s)   | Home  Road  Diff | Home  Road  Diff | Home  Road  Diff
2007-2010 | .522  .455 +.066 | .551  .449 +.103 | .606  .438 +.168
2011      | .372  .500 -.128 | .526  .474 +.053 | .500  .487 +.013

Numbers are through Sun., Jun 26
Diff column may contain rounding errors

Curious, no?

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On a quasi-related note, I forgot to mention last week’s article ($). It focuses on the Giants but contains a “fun” list of catchers most frequently used by Bruce Bochy during his tenure as Padres manager (Ben Davis tops the list, which probably haunts Bochy as much as it does you and me).


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15 Responses »

  1. do you have to keep mentioning Ben Davis who’s gone on to pitching career. ;)


    humidor be gone?!

  2. When the financier J.P. Morgan was asked where the stock market was headed, he replied “The market will fluctuate.” If it weren’t for statistical fluctuations, baseball would be more predictable, but less interesting.

    What’s really interesting is the range of explanations for the stats you cited. Won-loss incorporates hitting for average, power and OBP, starting and relief pitching, defense and injuries, and the only constant over those years has been relief pitching. That leaves the field wide open for speculation, but Occam’s Razor posits that the simplest explanation is best.

    You left out the early years at Petco, when the Padres had good hitters and the Petco Effect was minimal. Occam would say the Padres need better hitters, but that wouldn’t do much for the discussion. I’m one who believes Occam has the right answer, but let the speculation continue.

  3. @Larry: I left out the early years at Petco because I’ve already covered that in great detail here and here.

    I agree that in general, the simplest explanation is best. However, any explanation also must successfully explain. While “need better hitters” meets the first criterion, I’m not sure it meets the second.

  4. I wondered why Tate was out so long after his outfield collision, since all the reports were that would be out about 7-10 days. Now I know, another bad Padres 1st round draft pick… first Matt Bush and now Tate! Geesh!

  5. PF – what are you talking about? Last I checked, Tate was doing OK at Eugene … if he does well there, I could see him Lake Elsinore next year … and he’s still young and on pace …

    OT – Petco’s first pitch getting some pub :-);_ylt=Ahlr94wZ5uGDLJ4RJkdATSY5nYcB?urn=mlb-wp10971

  6. PF … never mind … found this :-(

    San Diego Padres outfield prospect Donavan Tate, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, was suspended 50 games Tuesday for violating MLB’s drug prevention and treatment program.

  7. Well, that’s fantastic. I believe there’s a draftee orientation program that explains THIS ISN’T THE NBA. WE TEST YOU FOR POT. And then you get caught twice. That’s a Manny Ramirez level of chutzpah.

    At least Tate has 183 professional plate appearances since June 2009. A 25 game break won’t hurt him the way it would a less-seasoned prospect.

  8. Regarding Tate, it’s amazing how often the 3rd overall pick turns out to be a bust:

    Typical Padre luck though, the #3 picks in the surrounding years were Manny Machado (already in High A and doesn’t turn 19 for another week) and Eric Hosmer.

  9. @Tom – I agree that a 25 game break won’t kill him…. but I am more concerned about his character . How do you know it was marijuana and not PED’s?

  10. @PF

    I was kidding about the 25 game break. In the two years since he was drafted he has 2 months’ worth of plate of appearances. He needs reps.

    The story LynchMob provided calls it a “drug of abuse,” which is recreational, not performance-enhancing. I’m assuming pot because it’s the most common such drug for kids his age and because I don’t want it to be anything more serious.

  11. and btw, Gamecocks is now back-to-back CWS champions.

    GY: now how bad were those hot-potato throws we saw Virginia did that sent South Carolina to the next round?

  12. Per Dan Hayes it was spice. Seems to be the drug de jour in the USMC lately, only fitting for a Navy-Marine town. :(

    And circle 17 July on our calendars folks. Of the 11 games prior to that date, 8 against SF. Figure if SD hasn’t taken at least 6 of 8 from SF and won their series’ against SEA and LAD, it’s over and Bell and Ludwick are first out the door. Watching Philly last night, Center’s idea of the two for Dominic Brown and change might not be a bad deal.

    Also I haven’t seen anyone talk about it, but any chance Bell goes and then returns as a FA over the winter at a SD discount he’s been talking about? Would definetly affect his trade value if he won’t sign after being traded, but if they think they can contend next couple years, great to have him and Adams back there.

    And I’m also wondering if anyone has put together a graph showing the Padres players under contract and the number of years of control SD has them under, including when they hit arbitration? Simliar to the charts I’ve seen people put together for college sports programs tracking scholarships? With the direction of this ownership group, trying to time those just right to put together a nucleus of players at the right time seems especially critical. That’s what I worry about with the current crop. Seem to be some decent position players on the way up but I worry by the time they learn to hit our stronger pitchers will have left as FAs.

  13. TW – love the link … thanks! Great data and presentation!

    OT – how’s Kyle Phillips doing? :-)

  14. @Quin: Thanks for the link to the Tate article. I doubt Brown’s stock has fallen that much we would be able to pick him up for the two players you mention. Also, I don’t see Bell coming back as an FA. We need to spend FA money beefing up our position players or SP, not our bullpen, which is fine.