Thursday, April 26, 2012

Early season report

Playoff odds over at ESPN has the padres at a 9.8% chance of making the playoffs. I say fuck that. Nobody in this division is running away with it. Sorry, Los Angeles. The rest of your team sucks and Matt Kemp isn't going to hit .450 and Ted Lilly isn't going to have a 0.90 ERA for the rest of the season. And while I'm not sold on the Lincecum is done story, his velocity is down and he's having trouble locating. So Fuck You, coolstandings, the Padres have a shot.

St. Louis looks like the cream of that division.  Philadelphia is still breathing, kind of. Cliff Lee might cripple them. I have no idea how they're scoring runs, that lineup sucks. I like me some Victorino and Pence but I always thought Chooch was a product of the massive bats around him (Utley and Howard). Utley and Howard would make any lineup better (Howard some lineups better.) but more importantly, the Phillies have legitimately terrible options behind them. They're using worse than replacement level hitters as substitutes for MVP candidates (well, at least in Utley's case).

And Boston, man, Boston is a train wreck., that team is...dysfunctional. I mean, I think they'll pull it together and make a run at the postseason because they have too much offensive talent (Youkilis-Gonzalez-Ellsbury-Pedroia-Ortiz is a juggernaut lineup) but that pitching staff is atrocious.

Texas has played out of this world. Which is all I can really say for them. They've got a nuts team right now. Absolutely nuts. I don't want to jinx them but...they're +55 in run differential and last  year the Yankees had the best run differential with +210. And the Rangers have played 19 games. Which means the Rangers have outscored their opponents by 2.89 runs per game on average. Yankees? Outscored their opponents last year by 1.29 runs per game on average.

I mean, I don't want to get carried away. They've played really good baseball over 19 games, though.

Hope. Chase Headley is my favorite.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Phillies tonight

Going to see the Philadelphia Phillies tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Got three tickets from work which is awesome. I'm not even upset that I'll miss Cory Luebke's start. I quite enjoy Citizen's Bank Park. And-AND!- we get Josh Johnson vs Roy Halladay! I hardly ever get to see awesome pitching matchups live and this one is promising! I've never seen Halladay live. I'm seriously excited.

Also. Yonder Alonso--33% line drive rate, 60% ground balls...dude should be hitting like .400. But he's hitting .173. Its early. I know. And he's just as statistically likely to be hitting .600 vs .200. I just kind of wish it was the .600.

Arizona 4 San Diego 2

Really frustrating loss last night. Edinson Volquez pitched extremely well--if he can pitch 7 innings of 8 strikeout 3 walk 0 homerun baseball all season, he'll be fine. And yet, he doesn't earn a win because Arizona has like a freaking witch doctor somewhere. San Diego had 6 hits and 8 walks but scored only 2 runs. That's a sick left on base percentage of ~85%. Awesome.

This is despite the fact that San Diego had a double and triple included in those hits (although that Orlando Hudson triple was really a single). Trevor Cahill really kind of sucked last night--he was walking everyone and San Diego just couldn't push any runs across. So, the Padres fall again despite good pitching and hitting and I hate everything.

Also, can we stop doing stupid things on the basepaths Will Veneble and Jason Bartlett? Nothing infuriates me as a fan more than outs on the basepaths. Stretching singles to doubles or trying to steal second and getting thrown out frustrates me to no end. Because we went from 14 baserunners to 11 from those two plays and a double play earlier. Then it doesn't seem so ridiculous that the Padres only scored 2 runs.

Gah. Against a mediocre pitcher with control issues. 2 runs. Gah.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Post Opening Series

So, its obviously way way way too early to dig into the actual data. Four games into the season, however, I want to delve into some numbers and start thinking.

First, lets look at some overall Padres:

The Padres scored 16 runs which placed them at 17th in the majors over the first series. Offense wasn't completely terrible, I suppose. Their walk percentage was 14.2 percent which was good for second in the majors behind only the Yankees. The Padres difficulty, as I'm sure it will be for the entire season, was hitting for power. San Diego notched a .094 Isolated Power which is pretty bad. Teams worse so far? The Pirates, the Twins and the Phillies. Not good company.

Good news for the offense is that batting average on balls in play was only .233. Hopefully, that can rebound and drive the team's average and slugging up a bit. The teams offensive WAR was .6 which was good for 14th in the majors--right in the middle of the pack.

So the offense looks good. Not much power but getting on base at a solid clip which is a good indication of a good approach on offense.

Now, to the pitching.

There's a reason the Padres are 1-3 and run prevention is the culprit. The Padres gave up 21 runs (17 earned) which was good for the 27th best in the majors. Even worse is that the pitchers BABIP was around .243 meaning the staff was probably lucky to be the 27th best pitching staff in the league especially considering that its not like the staff earned a bunch of infield fly balls (5.4%). About the only good news is that the LOB% was the worst in the league at 61.90% which implies that the team got a little unlucky at holding baserunners from scoring. And, if we're going to be honest the team threw enough strikes and limited the walks (EXCEPT FOR YOU EDINSON VOLQUEZ) to be a decent enough staff. xFIP so far was a 3.81 (20th in the majors).

Alright. So I'm overreacting a little bit. Its not hard to look at the Padres and dream a little bit. You can see a league average offense and league average run prevention contending and maybe making a run in a weak division. On the other hand, its hard to envision the staff being league average, realistically.

So far my favorite stat? Chase Headley .077/.333/.308. The man is tied for 3rd on the Padres in on base percentage despite hitting .077 in the series. Sexy beast.

Nick Hundley signed his new deal and promptly went hitless in the first series. So there's that.

Olrlando Hudson and Yonder Alonso I think are due for some luck. Yonder Alonso--check this out--has a 40% line drive rate but a BABIP of .200. That will change quite quickly. And I can't wait to watch a 3-5 day with two doubles.

Cory Luebke, man, hard luck. Sported a BABIP of .563 in his loss with a 40% left on base percentage. Especially considering he struck out 6 and only walked 1 in 4.2 innings of work. Can't wait to watch him regress! He's got a 9.64 ERA but an xFIP of 3.38 which means he owes me about 8 innings of lights out pitching. I like forward to it, Mr. Luebke.

Defense has to get better and I'm sure it will. San Diego isn't a slouch defensive team with Maybin, Hudson, Bartlett and all grading as above average fielders through the middle (yes, Hudson and Bartlett didn't fair well last year but their career fielding is above average. Yes, I know that skill peaks early and they might be terrible. We'll see.) Team might be league average but catcher, first base and right field might be above average and Headly might be average. Not the Detroit Tigers infield in the least.

So, after that exhaustive report what can we say?

Dude, its been fucking 4 games. Nothing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening day loss

So I caved and bought last night so I could watch me some padres. Its an awesome package. I watched some Boston-Detroit highlights and Phillies-Pirates (I'm in Philadelphia).

So: the game. First interesting note is that Clayton Kershaw left after three innings with a stomach virus? It was kind of a whatever for me. I checked into the game in the fourth when he left the game so I didn't get to see him dazzle.

I did, however, get to see Edinson Volquez underwhelm. The line on Volquez is that if he would just stop effing walking people he'd be elite. He has nasty stuff (which was on display last evening) but when its a foot off the plate, no one is going to swing at it. And that's what happened. Volquez walked in two runs on (if I'm remembering correctly) 3 straight walks and he got bailed out on a wild pitch that failed to score a runner from third.

I suppose I had high hopes for Volquez this season moving from the Great American Ballpark to Petco. I was hoping for a John Garland/Aaron Harang kind of year. But, what I saw last night doesn't bode well and I guess I should temper my expectations for Volquez. He owns a career 4.86 BB/9 and he's really only put up one good season. 2008 was a pretty good year, to be fair, but his pitching last night indicated another year of 5ish walks per nine innings which means he'll be average to below average and maybe even replacement level. He couldn't find the strike zone much at all.

I saw me some Cameron Maybin last night. That was a spectacle home run, it was, a no doubter. Maybin is my hopes and dreams player of this Padres club. Well, him and Yonder Alonso. We can dream that they turn into 4-7 win players and drive the team back to the playoffs. I'm not worried about Maybins error last night--I know he's a plus defender and he'll more than make up for it this season.

Yonder Alonso didn't look great last night, as far as I saw. I liked his at bats but he didn't seem to put good wood on the ball all night. For me, the jury's out on him.

I hate Dee Gordon already. Already I hate that kid. Vacuum cleaner of a defender. I think he's like a spider, all limbs and webs and snags. We hates him. He stole a Yonder Alonso single and hit the ball that Maybin couldn't handle. Thorn in my side, Dee Gordon is. Also, his speed was on full display last evening.

Ernesto Frieri also disappointed me last night as he struggled through the top of the 9th. He was pretty nasty last season and his curves and sliders had some real sick bite last night but he couldn't find the plate. I'm blaming Volquez.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening day!

I know I haven't posted much on here yet but I'm working on it. I really wanted to analyze the Cory Luebke contract a bit and I will get to it. I also want to do a bit on why the Padres will win the NL West this season (always a favorite) but, again, time! Also, Joey Votto's ridiculous contract!

So, apologies for the lack of in depth posting although at this point I'm apologizing to myself. We'll get there!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Padres ownership situation

So, its old news but Jeff Moorad has been put on hold. This situation, I feel, closely mirrors the Dodgers situation--I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad. Was Moorad going to mortgage the future? So far, the team has, I think, some real potential especially in the terrible NL West. A good amount of that potential is directly related to Moorad's leadership or the leadership of those who were hired by Moorad.

The payroll is low and without any long term deals or veterans figures to stay low. Rookie talent is cheap talent and the Padres (according to fangraphs and keith law) have the best farm system in the majors. Looking forward, it seems as though Moorad has guided the Padres to a brighter future at the very worst and I'm not completely sold that the current major league team is a bust either. Yeah, you wish Carlos Quentin was your #6 hitter not your #3 but you know, I'm going to live with that.

Anyway, I sort of hope Moorad sticks around, I was warming up to him and I really miss Jed Hoyer (he was my favorite). Josh Byrnes can lead the team and hopefully develop some young talent, too. I'd hate to see this blown up....