Missing Mark Loretta

Although no single point of failure can explain this year’s Padres (the departure of Adrian Gonzalez makes for an easy target, but they lost 99 games with him in 2008), it’s worth noting that the team has gotten almost nothing out of the no. 2 hole. That is the usual spot for Jason Bartlett, who has represented a considerable downgrade from David Eckstein, who was nothing special himself.

The Padres haven’t had a decent no. 2 hitter for a while. Consider the past decade…

Year  PA   BA  OBP  SLG Primary*
2002 740 .234 .316 .322 Mark Kotsay
2003 743 .291 .359 .410 Mark Loretta/Kotsay
2004 754 .324 .381 .470 Loretta
2005 748 .258 .336 .357 Loretta
2006 753 .264 .340 .455 Mike Cameron/Brian Giles
2007 752 .246 .310 .388 Jose Cruz Jr./Cameron/Geoff Blum/B. Giles
2008 749 .266 .318 .362 Tadahito Iguchi/Edgar Gonzalez/Luis Rodriguez
2009 736 .280 .350 .373 David Eckstein
2010 739 .260 .316 .360 Eckstein
2011 605 .241 .302 .308 Jason Bartlett

*Anyone with at least 100 PA in that spot

How do you do worse than Cruz, Iguchi, and Rodriguez? That’s a rhetorical question; I don’t actually want to know.

When the Padres brought Loretta (along with Brad Ausmus, Trevor Hoffman, and Dave Roberts) back to San Diego in non-playing capacities, a part of me hoped those guys would suit up and take the field. But that’s the same part of me that wishes I were still in my thirties, watching Bartlett play at Lake Elsinore.

Oh well. As thoughts go, I’ve had worse…

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8 Responses »

  1. Chase Headley’s numbers this year look like those of a nice #2 hitter… in a normal lineup.
    But since this lineup isn’t normal and Headley is out, can someone explain to me why Orlando Hudson isn’t a better fit for the two hole? Hudson has a higher average hitting 2nd than any other slot. His OBP is 35 points higher than Bartlett’s, and he has fewer CS.

  2. …then again, we have not had decent bats up and down the lineup this year, haven’t we (especially that forgettable first half)?

    what’s the numbers normalize to this year’s ML 2nd spot? not saying Bartlett been any good, just maybe he’s not as bad as we think…wishful thinking?

    apt title to the article. could be a band’s name.

  3. While the numbers overall aren’t good, I think Bartlett has at least being playing better of late (a respectable .274 since the break). I attribute a lot of the second half surge in offense to him and Hudson finally playing more in line with their career numbers (Blanks crushing the ball hasn’t hurt either, but it helps when there’s speedy guys on base, and yes, I know Hudson has been hitting behind Blanks). I just hope Maybin heals up quickly, because the drop off in defense was pretty apparent on Sunday. There was about 3 balls to RF that I think Venable gets to that Parrino did not. Lump that in with the complete drop off in offense, and it wasn’t a good weekend. At least I got to go to one of the games….

  4. Maybin CF
    Headley 3B
    Guzman LF-1B
    Blanks RF-LF-1B
    Rizzo 1B
    Hundley C
    Hudson 2B
    Bartlett SS

    Granted that puts pressure on Maybin in CF but maybe Venable can lead off against righties and Maybin drops to third and Blanks or Rizzo sits. That lineup “solves” the #2 spot issue.

    And I said it before the season, Bartlett belongs at the bottom of the lineup, never got the top of the lineup love he is getting from others.

  5. @Quin: agreed about Bartlett but the manager kept putting him in that spot.

  6. Actually Headley ought to be leading off. His OBP is the best of the team by far, and it’s not as if his 4 HRs are middle of the order material. I love Maybin but a .332 OBP is not leadoff material. Hudson’s OBP is right around his career mark of .340 in spite of moving to a tougher hitting park. I’d bat him second and Maybin third. And then bring up the sluggers — Blanks, Rizzo, Guzman, etc. Let them take their cuts with ducks on the pond. Put Hundley in the 6th or 7th hole and Bartlett 8th.

  7. Hit Maybin second. The Pads don’t have, and haven’t had, a leadoff, second, or cleanup hitter in years and keep switching guys into spots where they don’t fit, except for seventh and eighth. Maybin strikes out too often and doesn’t walk, but he turns singles into scoring opportunities by stealing and he can hit over .250, which is rare on the Pads.

  8. I think:


    Is a decent 1-2-3. Maybin has enough pop that he should be in a position to drive in runs, plus enough speed where if he gets a 2 out single he can steal and get into scoring position so #4 doesn’t need to try and score the guy from 1st with 1 swing.

    Biggest problem is with Bud Black no lineup or position is safe and he platoons more than he should. He won’t bat LH vs LH, yet he fielded an all RH lineup against a LH pitcher (Bumgarner) and he struck out 13. He has no problem sitting a hot bat for no reason. Even if he had Loretta you think he’d bat him 2nd? Doubtful.