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What Jed said

October 7th, 2010 by Ray

Jed Hoyer gave an interview to XX yesterday and thanks to the good people at Gaslamp Ball, neither of us have to listen to it. It was surprisingly (at least to me) candid, as if Jed were paying tribute to the Gunslinger. It gave us a good window into his mind. Here are some of the choice hits, as well as my valuable (you’ll see. i’ll show you) opinion.

Hoyer wishes that he and Buddy would have put Tim Stauffer back into the rotation earlier. That’s the one thing that keeps him up at night. It could have brought them 2 or 3 more wins. They waited longer than they should have. They waited until the rosters expanded.


Stauffer was the second best “starter” on this team, behind Mat Latos, but he only received seven starts. His 3.02 FIP was only .02 behind Latos and was .79 ahead of Clayton Richard, Mr. Third Place. His xFIP was also solid (3.74), putting him behind Latos and Cory Luebke and his three starts.

In his place, Wade LeBlanc and Kevin Correia combined for 51 starts, or almost a third of the season. The two also combined to give the team a total of 0.1 wins above replacement. In almost 300 less innings, Stauffer contributed 1.3 wins. I hate to have to say this, but the Padres really could’ve used an extra win there at the end of the year.

The Padres struggled all year getting on base in the 1 and 2 spot in the line up. They ranked 27 or 28th getting on base in those positions. It really hurt the run scoring. Hoyer thinks very highly of David Eckstein, he had a really good year but he won’t say if he’ll be coming back next year.

David, David, David. He actually had his best season in years (five, to be exact). Unfortunately, that had nothing to do with his hitting. He had his best defensive year ever, managing average range and letting his sure handedness do the rest. Offensively, it was the same story. A 91 wRC+, which is worse than his career 95, and a total of -5.1 runs contributed. On a team that wasn’t exactly Murderer’s Row, Eckstein had the fourth worst year with the bat. It’s just that Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Everth Cabrera, our other options at second, were worse.

It was nice of Hoyer to lie and say that Eckstein had a really good year. But if he’s looking to upgrade, we’ve found somewhere to start.

Ryan Ludwick is a really good player who struggled in the new environment. He put too much pressure on himself. He thinks that Ludwick will be moved to left field because Hoyer likes Will Venable’s glove in right field.


**Not to editorialize, but I wouldn’t be against the Padres putting Ludwick in left. With a starting trio of Ludwick-Gwynn-Venable, I’m not sure anything would fall in that outfield.

Good Ludwick the rest of the season

Getting past that, it’s good to see that Hoyer isn’t among the masses calling for Ludwick’s head. He definitely stunk while here (78 OPS+) but luck was not on his side (.257 BABIP). Both numbers are considerably down from his career averages (114 OPS+, .309 BABIP). Add in that he was still coming off of an injury and it’s likely that we didn’t see the real Ryan Ludwick these past two months. It was his evil twin, Ryan Ughwick.

Jon Garland had a great year. They’ll talk about exercising his option over the next two weeks. He felt that he performed exactly as they hoped.

A great year might be something of an overstatement, but Garland was who we thought he is (4.41 FIP, 106 ERA+, 200 IP). His option is for $6.75 million and that might be a bit steep, but Garland is a dependable pitcher and the rotation would still only be around $8 million with him.

Gwynn had a good season defensively. The team missed him in the outfield when he was injured. He struggled offensively. He’s a reason for the success of the pitching staff.

AJ was amazing this year, posting the highest UZR/150 of all players with at least 700 innings (33.6). Even being four-to-five hundred innings behind the rest of his competition, he still ended the year second in UZR (12.9) behind only Michael Bourn. This guy can play him some centerfield and seemed to be unaffected by the grand expanse of Petco Park (6.4 home RngR). He had a down year with the bat but like Ludwick, luck was not on his side (.236 BABIP, .050 BABIP-LD%). It’d be a big risk for the team to go into 2011 with AJ installed in center but his defense makes him a valuable player (1.7 WAR in 2010).

Personally, I’d like to see Venable get first crack at centerfield. He showed a lot of promise when Black finally gave him the shot and with his bat, the Padres wouldn’t have to make sacrifices or choose one facet of the game over the other. But given that Black sent Chris Denorfia out for 360 innings (we’ve been over this) I would gladly take another year of Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Posted in media, statistics | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “What Jed said”

  1. Larry Faria says:

    With a busy offseason upon us, these Jed-grams take on more importance. We need more than choice hits – we’re hungry. Plus, your valuable opinion will show us if you give us more of it. How about part two?

  2. […] interview with Hoyer. Some good stuff in here, on a variety of subjects. Ray at Sacrifice Bunt remarks on several points made in the […]

  3. maestro876 says:

    In regards to AJ’s BABIP, it’s not just bad luck. The guy hits an inordinate amount of fly balls (35%) and very few line drives (18.6%). Because he has zero power, those fly balls go for easy outs rather than extra base hits. I don’t think he has the type of skill set that would lead to a very high BABIP.

    • Ray says:

      While it’s true that he hits too many fly balls, it’s not as if he had an average BABIP this season. His was incredibly low.

  4. Larry Faria says:

    I’m not sure it’s AJ’s skill set, but his approach. When he first arrived from the Brewers, he was swinging at hittable pitches whenever he got them. Now he seems to be still going with the Sandy Alderson “work the count” philosophy that’s actually a misreading of the best hitters.

    Ted Williams and Babe Ruth walked 2000 times each, but they’d both swing at a drivable pitch anywhere in the count. So would fellow HOFer Eddie Matthews, who couldn’t even hit a curveball. He had nearly 1500 walks, but always went after a pitch in his hitting zone.

    With over 500 HRs and nearly 400 doubles, Matthews scared pitchers into nibbling the edges of the zone and learned to foul off curves and borderline pitches when he had two strikes. Give AJ a belt-high strike on the outside third of the plate – that his dad would turn into a double or triple – and he’ll take it with less than two strikes every time.

    The “taking a dump” stance and an inflexible mechanical swing are other issues, but it’s the approach that’s killing AJ’s hitting.

  5. Mike says:

    The challenge for the Padres in outfield planning is that Kyle Blanks is probably going to do more offensively – for many more years – than Venable. However, Blanks-Venable-Ludwick is not exactly a recipe for defensive success in the N.L. West and anyone-Gwynn-anyone is not a recipe for offensive success above the Cal League. Mix in the uncertainty about when Blanks will be ready to go, and I’m glad I don’t have Jed’s job this winter. (even before thinking about the disaster that is the current crop of infield options)

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