Players Less Valuable Than Jim Edmonds

They’re out there. No, really.  They are in order (based on runs above replacement) David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano, Freddy Sanchez, Jose Guillen, Travis Buck, Cody Ross, Troy Tulowitzki, Tony Pena, Adam LaRoche, Robinson Cano.  It makes me feel better.  It probably shouldn’t, but it does.  I just thought I’d share it with you on the off chance that it makes you feel better, too.

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Chargers News: Buddy Nix Retires

I find this distressing. I fear Buddy’s retirement will negatively impact the team in the long run.  Hopefully Mueller and those who were promoted can do the job.

All-Star Game Voting

I saw the Padres official web site is touting Adrian Gonzalez as a dark-horse ASG candidate.  I’d like to ask that Padre fans not vote for any Padres this year.  There isn’t one position player on this roster deserving of a spot on the National League All-Star team.  Adrian Gonzalez, arguably the most deserving Padre position player (least undeserving might be more accurate),  is not even top five among National League first basemen.  And yes, that’s with the park accounted for.  Brian Giles, the next most valuable in the bunch, is just barely inside the top twenty of NL outfielders.  The rest of the team is barely keeping their heads above water with almost every last one of them hovering at replacement level or below.  While I doubt many Padre fans were enthusiastic enough to bother voting this year anyway, I just thought I’d remind those of you considering it that you shouldn’t.

NL West: Week in Review (April 21-27)

Rk Team
Overall W-L
Week W-L
Pythagenport Win %
Trend
Comment

1


Diamondbacks
18-7
5-2
.708
The Arizona Diamondbacks are looking like they just might run away with this division. 25 games into their season, the Baby Backs are six games up on second place. Even with their offense crashing down toward league average this week, they still managed to continue winning thanks in large part to their pitching staff which allowed 2.4 runs per game in their five wins. All seven of their games this week were against other NL West teams and their 5-2 record pushed their record on the year to 17-5 against the West. If I might steal a quote from a Padres promotional commercial, “If you want to win the West, you’ve got to beat the West.” Well, that seems to be working out just fine for Arizona.

2


Dodgers
12-13
5-2
.572
Bad news for the rest of the division: Los Angeles is starting to see results consistent with their run differential. After splitting series with Cincinnati and the first place Diamondbacks, L.A. swept the Rockies over the weekend. Their pitching wasn’t exactly dominant, but it was for the most part very solid. Their offense, though, was something approximating dominant as they scored an average of 6.3 runs per game. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they find themselves chasing a very hot Arizona team and going 5-2 only allows you to keep pace, not make up ground.

3


Giants
11-15
2-4
.324
How do you go 2-4 and actually move up in the standings? Them’s the breaks, I guess. Their record this week shows they’re dedicated to getting back into the cellar and their Pythagenport winning percentage does as well. Unfortunately for them, Colorado and San Diego had different plans for at least one more week. I wouldn’t worry too much, though. They’re not as good as their 9-10 record would suggest and the Rockies and Padres certainly aren’t as bad as their records suggest, so within a week or two, we ought to see this remedied.

4


Rockies
10-15
1-6
.399
Colorado dropped six out of seven contests this week, but at least they can thank bad luck for some of that as half of their losses were of the one-run variety. The four, two and eight run losses on the other hand are still quite ugly. Philly, Chicago and Los Angeles are all good teams, but as the reigning National League champs the Rockies expect to be able to hang with and even beat good teams. They most likely will start to play at a higher level, but with Arizona looking like they might run away with the division, they had better start clicking sooner rather than later.

5


Padres
10-16
1-6
.341
It wasn’t a good week for the Padres. They opened the week in Houston where the Astros outscored them 2 to 1 en route to a 3 game sweep. They then traveled home to drop two one run games to the San Francisco Giants who also outscored them by a ratio of 2 to 1. With the Diamondbacks coming in for a three game series over the weekend, the Padres looked like a good bet to go winless this week, but thanks to a walk-off home run in extra innings by the normally punchless Tadahito Iguchi, the friar faithful were treated to at least one victory in what was an otherwise dreadful seven days.

This is Getting Old

Padres hitters once again failed to show up. Randy Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, but he’s at the end of his career and is not the pitcher he once was. PetCo Park in April is a difficult place to hit, but this is getting ridiculous. 2.62 runs per game at home is incredible. I am convinced that the Padres are not this bad offensively. True talent level notwithstanding, they have performed this badly through 13 games.

Last season the Padres averaged 3.99 runs per game at home. They averaged 3.69 through their first 13 home games and 4.04 through their remaining home games. This gives some additional reason to expect improvement, but to match last year’s output they’ll need to average 4.25 runs per home game. That is unlikely at best.

This could be a long year for Padre fans if something doesn’t change significantly.

Not So Daily Links

Aaron Gleeman reminds Padres fans that, hey, at least our television announcers are pretty good.

In cuter news, there are some “abandoned Pawdres up for adoption.”

Andrew of True Blue LA (boo!) asserts that sabermetrics are dead, or at least no longer a competitive advantage, but dead sounds cooler.

Friar Forecast takes a look at the Padres adjusted runs scored and allowed this season as well as when we know a player is done.

Greg Maddux says that closing is, mentally, the hardest job in baseball.

Padres Drop Another Close One

With last night’s loss, the Padres dropped to 3-6 in one-run games this season. One run games are not decided entirely by luck, but luck factors in more to one-run games than to games decided by more runs. This sounds obvious and that’s because it is. One-run games are more likely to hinge on one play, one pitch, one whatever and as such luck plays into it more than in a blowout.

The presumption going into this season is that the Padres are an above average, or at the very least an average team, so it is reasonable to expect a .500 or better record in the close games. Accepting that premise, then, one can see that a 3-6 record in one-run games is likely due to bad luck. Had the Padres won two of the six contests they dropped by one run, they’d be sitting at 11-12 right now and I very much doubt Padre fans would be doing the Chicken Little impressions they are currently.

That topic is tiresome, so I thought I’d address another topic I’ve heard several fans bring up that I personally find more interesting: batting order. We’ll begin with the starting lineup:

C Josh Bard

1B Adrian Gonzalez

2B Tadahito Iguchi

3B Kevin Kouzmanoff

SS Khalil Greene

LF Paul McAnulty

CF Jim Edmonds

RF Brian Giles

Now, first according to The Book, we must identify our three best hitters. Since this is not a terribly serious exercise, we’ll use this year’s numbers to determine that. They are in order: Adrian Gonzalez, Paul McAnulty and Brian Giles. The three best hitters ought to occupy the three most important spots in the lineup: 1st, 2nd and 4th. Gonzalez is the clear choice for 4th because of his power. Giles and McAnulty are getting on base at the same clip, so McAnulty takes the second spot by virtue of having flashed more power.

Next, we look to fill the third and fifth spots in the lineup with our next best remaining hitters. Those hitters are Josh Bard and Kevin Kouzmanoff. They have similar production, but Bard’s is based more in on-base percentage and Kouzmanoff’s in slugging, so it makes sense to slot them third and fifth respectively.

From there, we just order them in descending order of productivity sixth through eighth with the pitcher batting ninth. That gives us for our lineup

RF Brian Giles

LF Paul McAnulty

C Josh Bard

1B Adrian Gonzalez

3B Kevin Kouzmanoff

2B Tadahito Iguchi

SS Khalil Greene

CF Jim Edmonds

Khalil Greene and Jim Edmonds are similar in ability (well, results this year), so there’s an argument to be made for putting Edmonds ahead of Greene o break up the right-handed bats. The offense has been anemic this year, so it couldn’t hurt to try to squeeze out every last run by fielding a more efficient batting order.