Predictions, Optimism, and Bow Hunting

Andrew Cashner. He has a beard and throws a baseball 100 mph. And he also kills things with a bow.

During the month of March, have-nots, underachievers, and the down right terrible organizations generally have something in common: a sense of optimism. Their fans have it too. Even if these fans don’t think their team really has a chance there’s still an elemental need to look at things with a glass-half-full perspective. Without some sense of optimism, why bother?

At Padres Public this spring we’ve come together and made bold win predictions, thrown obscure names in the hat for an unlikely (some more likely) Spring Training Hero, and just yesterday Oscar tried to get a handle on what would constitute a successful Padres season. A lot of different opinions, some grounded in realism, others in optimism.

Over the past few seasons a St. Louis Cardinals blog called C70 At The Bat* has rolled out questions to bloggers of each MLB team to get a sense of what’s to come. The series is called Playing Pepper and this year answers came forth from Padres Public members Left Coast Bias, Padres Trail, and myself as well as the Friarhood and Friars on Base. Answering big questions in March is all part of the fun of following baseball.

* A bunch of Cardinals blogs, using Padres Public as a bit of a model, got together under one umbrella called the Cards Conclave. This is a nerdy distinction that perhaps only I (and Padres Public) can appreciate. It had to be said, the former and the latter.

Here’s the list of questions if you want to give it a crack in the comments section. My opening statement on Andrew Cashner will become self-evident shortly:

1) How would you grade the offseason?

2) What are the expectations for Everth Cabrera as he comes off the Biogenesis suspension?

3) Which roster battle will be the most intriguing during spring training?

4) What rookie, if any, will make the most impact on the team in 2014?

5) What will be the final record of the team and where will they finish in the division?

6) Which player from your team do you most enjoy watching?

Bow hunting!

***

I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired by Juan Uribe. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at avengingjm.blogspot.com

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  • Change the Padres

    1. C
    2. ZIPS: 89 wc+
    3. 5th starter and what they do with Medica
    4. Ryan Jackson will probably get the most playing time, but impact will come from one of the arms – does Burch still qualify?
    5. 80-82, third.
    6. Headley

    • Burch is still below the innings threshold for rookie status.

    • I think Everth will end up closer to average offensively and the real question will be his defense. Otherwise, pretty much agree with this in its entirety.

    • ballybunion

      You agree with ZiPS that Everth will get only 469 plate appearances, basically, 120 games? Will he be injured, benched (and for whom?), lose the lead off spot and hit eighth, or be suspended again?

      • Change the Padres

        wc+ isn’t a counting statistic, so it’s not influenced by plate appearance volume. ZIPS has a very different method for predicting playing time. The published numbers are the 50th percentile of predicted playing time, assuming he never could lose his starting job. I think 469 plate appearance is more than fair for a player who has never done it at the MLB level.

  • Someone said it yesterday but I’ll repeat it – best ‘favorite player to watch’ answer, ever.