Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Why Eckstein didn't decline in 2009 or Park Factors 101

Tuesday March 9, 2010

Why David Eckstein did not regress on offense in 2009
or Understanding Park Factors 101

Batting Average
David Eckstein 2001-2008

David Eckstein 2009

Park Factors for hitting in Petco for 2009

That means that playing in Petco will drain 19.5% off the home batting average of a player or about 9.75% overall over a league average ballpark.

.284 x 9.75% = 0.02769
.284 - .02769 = .25631

In other words, Eckstein actually outperformed his career averages while playing for the Padres last season.

In the time he played there, Angel Stadium of Anaheim ranged from an extreme hitters park to an extreme pitchers park. Overall it comes out to be about league average over the 4 years Eckstein was there. (2001 - 1.077, 2002 - 0.828, 2003 - 0.978, 2004 - 1.019)

Through the 2005 season the old Busch Stadium was a hitters paradise adding about 15% to a batters home batting average or about 7.5% overall.  In 2006 and 2007 the new Busch stadium was a league average ballpark.

Slugging Percentage
Petco has an even more devastating effect on a hitters power numbers with a .721 Park Factor for HR, .711 for 2B and .778 for triples.

Eckstein's slugging percentage dropped .027 from his career average while by the park factor numbers it should have dropped to about .317.

In other words, when adjusted for park factors, Eckstein outperformed his career power numbers in 2009.

Clutch Hitting
Add to the above improvements over his career numbers the fact that Eckstein had an awesome .340/.387/.448/.835 line in 248 PA with runners on base and a .311/.377/.412/.789 line with RISP for the Padres in 2009 and you have a very valuable member of the team.

Offensively, in 2009 Eckstein was a player who outperformed his career numbers when you adjust for park factors and provided clutch hitting at a high level.

Eckstein came into the 2009 season having turned down opportunities to earn more money because the Padres offered him a chance to play his natural position at 2B after a ML career at SS, a more demanding position.

Defensively the only thing people can even try to point to in 2009 is Eckstein's range, because he only committed 2 errors  which was the best in baseball by a long shot (Kaz Matsui was next best in the NL with 6 errors) and Eckstein was 2nd best in the NL at turning the double play (that while playing most of the season with a rookie at SS).

By comparison, Orlando Hudson, the Gold Glove winner in the NL had a -3.3 UZR, 8 errors and was below average at turning the DP.

I guess there is a reason that the Padres brass like him so much.

Milton Bradley sticks his foot in his mouth again

Tuesday March 9, 2009

Woe is me. I am misunderstood. Its all everyone else fault. I never do anything wrong.

That is Milton Bradley's refrain. Consistently. Everywhere he goes.

His latest interview continued the pattern. Its obvious this guy cannot control his anger or his mouth. Maybe its time someone cut the PC stuff and said to Bradley,  

"Hey buddy. go look in a mirror. You will see the man who is responsible for all of your problems".

What was once a promising season for the Seattle Mariners is looking more and more like another train wreck that happens to whatever team Bradley plays for. They should jettison him while they still have the chance, before he can become the inevitable cancer he has been in each of his previous stops.

There is a reason that the Rangers, a team that he played like an MVP for in 2008, would not take him back for what basically amounted to $1 million for 2010.

Bradley should just go back to the hole he crawled out of.  He is an embarrassment to the game of baseball.

Editors Note:

Today Jim Hendry, GM of the Chicago Cubs, came out and said exactly what Web said someone should say. Namely that Bradley's problems are self induced.

Here is the link:

Moores come to a settlement in divorce

Tuesday March 9, 2009

John and Becky Moores reached a settlement of their divorce case today according to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune.

Once the case is finalized in Superior Court in May, this should be the beginning of the Padres organization seeing a freeing up of financial resources to increase payroll.

The Padres payroll has been frozen since February of 2008 to a level that would ensure the team would not experience losses during the divorce.

25 months later we are seeing a settlement that will allow the team to move forward.

While the dissolution of a union that lasted 44 years is a sad thing on a personal level, for the Padres, today is a good day.

Good luck to both John and Becky Moores as they move forward in their personal and professional lives.
You brought San Diego something we had never known, a baseball team that consistently had a chance to compete. For that I thank you.

Now please move on so we can move on as fans of the San Diego Padres.

Young looks good, Blanks shows off speed

Tuesday March 9, 2010
Photo of my favorite meal in Peoria courtesy of Jorge Arangure of ESPN.

In the field:
Kyle Blanks continues to impress in ST, with a booming double and a legged out triple today. He is not just fast for a big guy, he is just flat out fast. Blanks is hitting .455 this spring, 5 for 11 with 2 doubles and a triple in 4 appearances.

Will Venable also added a double and triple today in a Padres loss.

Matt Antonelli continues to produce in a reserve role, going 1-1 and scoring a run to improve his spring totals to 4 for 9 or a .444 batting average in 5 appearances. What we have seen this spring from Antonelli was what the Padres expected in the past two years and didn't get from him.

As is typical early in camp, the guys that have already won their spots in the starting roster like Adrian Gonzalez and David Eckstein are not seeing much time yet.

Logan Forsythe got some time at 3B today, but still not seeing game time at 2B, although he did take some grounders there in practice.

I was surprised that there were not more home runs today as the jet stream blowing straight out to center.

On the bump:
Padres starting pitcher Chris Young looked good again today in his 2nd appearance of camp, only giving up a single hit over three innings while striking out 2. His fastball once again sat around 87-88 mph with good movement and his slider showed nice bite.

Radhames Liz gave up 2 hits and a walk in 2 scoreless innings. Many were saying he might not make it through camp after getting bombed in his first outing.

Back home to San Diego tonight. It has been nice to be in Phoenix this week, but I can't wait to get home and see my wife. Will Cotijas still be open for a shrimp burrito?