Friar Follies (Baseball Prospectus)
Alliteration aside (will we ever run out of these headlines?) Joe Sheehan tries his hand again at Padres analysis and talks a bit less crazy this time. He says Hollywood Jim is kaput in center, while Baldelli or Crisp make the most sense in trade scenarios. (non-subscribers get partial text)
The Padres aren’t likely to close the gap on the Diamondbacks and Dodgers under any circumstances. They’re not a good offensive team, and they need time to integrate their young position players. The team’s strength the last few years, though, has been the way it fits into the park, with fly-ball pitchers, deep fences and Mike Cameron. Now, in a post-Cameron world, they’re about to find out just how much of what they thought was pitching was actually defense.
Tom Krasovic doesn’t see the Padres trading for Crisp.
For one, Crisp is out of the lineup because of an injury. Two, Epstein hasn’t put him on the trade block. Three, the Padres believe Epstein would ask for advanced prospects such as Matt Antonelli or Chase Headley. “We’re not going to move those guys,” Towers said.
Prior, Giles, and Hensley Recoveries On-Time (Union Tribune)
Tom Krasovic shares updates on our favorite sickly players, and things look good. Don’t they always during spring training? I’d be a bit worried if they were “in the best shape of their lives”.
The surgeon’s work is enabling Prior to throw with proper form, to repeat the same release point that he had before injuries led to compensation issues and degraded his silky delivery.
He said he is able to get the extension and angle needed to hit the low-outside portion of the strike zone, or just wide of it. Last spring training, Prior said, he wasn’t able to smoothly get that done. “I’d come around the ball,” he said, tilting his right hand inward.
Chase Headley’s Approach to Hitting (Baseball America)
“I think the strikeout is one of the most overrated stats in baseball,” Headley said. “It’s an out just like anything else. You can pretty much tell how I’m hitting by the counts. If somebody is on base, I’m trying to do some damage. But if there’s nobody on base, I like to see some pitches.”
Chase you’re preaching to the choir re: strikeouts. Power hitters will strikeout, it comes with the territory. They make up for it by hitting the crap out of the ball when they do connect, and they make fewer outs of other varieties by walking more.
Not sure I’m happy to hear he’s changing his approach with runners on though. Hey Chase, you can still score if you’re on base! Takes what theys gives ya!
Young Guns: The NL West (Baseball Analysts)
It never hurts to soak up another informed opinion on future prospects. Mark Hulet expresses his take on our future stars, plus those we’ll see around the division. One aspect of Chase Headley’s game I haven’t seen mentioned before is his considerable BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). This can indicate a reliance on luck in a players’ batting average.
One huge caution about Headley’s high average in 2007 is that his BABIP was an astronomical .400. The power increase is probably for real – the high average is not.
Definitely an aspect of Chase’s game to keep in mind.
Statheads in the Front Office (Friar Forecast)
Myron takes a look at franchise executives dedicated to statistical analysis, similar to Chris Long‘s position with the Padres.
That’s it for this issue of Sacrificial Links, fancy graphic edition. 13 short days until the big game. Keep your pants on! Or not, either way really. Just put them back on by March 31st.