In January of 2012, Anthony Rizzo, as part of a four-team trade, was shipped off to Chicago and was reunited with the person who brought him to San Diego, Jed Hoyer. He was not, as some may possibly believe, traded for Yonder Alonso. Though effectively that was the move as Josh Byrnes brought in Alonso as part of Latos trade thus causing a back-up at first.
Since Rizzo has left he has been pined for unlike any player that I can think of that has been shipped out of San Diego. I’ve never seen people follow and instantly react to every event of a player that was a former Padre. Not Jake Peavy, not Adrian Gonzalez, not Heath Bell, not even Trevor Hoffman.
Exhibit A: On Thursday the Cubs beat Texas 6-2, thanks in part to a 475 foot HR from Anthony Rizzo.
This HR was immediately followed by Coach Kentera tweeting the following:
Anthony rizzo 475 foot hr today at wrigley vs Texas. Sure glad we gave up on him.
— John Kentera (@CoachKentera) April 18, 2013
Padre fans, it’s time to cut the cord. It’s time to let him go. If he comes back, blah blah blah.
So, let’s compare Anthony Rizzo to our actual first baseman, Yonder Alonso.
Before we start it is worth pointing out that Rizzo is 3 years younger than Alonso (26 vs 23). As such Alonso has about 225 more PA than Rizzo. So, first things first, let’s look at a season in which both were everyday players.
2012 PA = 619
2012 PA: 368
Worth noting is that Rizzo hit 7 of those HRs at home (Wrigley). Alonso hit only 3 HR at Petco in the season listed above. Also, as most of you know, Alonso is a doubles machine and far outpaces Rizzo in that category (39 to 15).
So, Rizzo, in a smaller sample size, had a slightly better offensive year in 2012. Obviously, Rizzo excels defensively over Alonso, though Alonso has been improving in that area.
But perhaps more telling is comparing their time in San Diego. Now, a giant asterisk has to be put on any talk about Rizzo and his time in San Diego. Was he given a fair opportunity here? In 49 games played, no. Was he brought up to early? Probably, though there was little left for him to accomplish in AAA at the time. But, in those 49 games with San Diego, Rizzo hit .141, 1 HR, and struck out 46 times. Petco and Rizzo did not see eye-to-eye.
Alonso’s first season in Petco was the season I recapped above. Now, the argument can be made, and perhaps it is fair, that Rizzo was psyched out by the dimensions of Petco. Or that his swing was not designed for Petco Park. And yes, maybe that would have corrected itself. But maybe it not. We’ll never know.
But I can tell you this. Rizzo so far with the Cubs in 2013. BA of .174, 3 HRs, and 16 SO in 54 PA. Alonso? .309, 9 SO.
There is roughly 1.0 difference in WAR between the two. Yet, based on the gnashing of teeth every time Rizzo does something great you would think we dumped Kate Upton for…I don’t know, Margaret McPoyle.
Rizzo is not here. He’s not coming back. Let’s not not enjoy the first baseman we have because we all fell under the trance of Rizzomania once upon a time and never came back.
Let’s stop Chasing Rizzo.
You can find my nonsense at Padres Public every Friday. And follow me on Twitter @LeftCoastBias for 140 characters worth of nonsense on a variety of subjects ranging from Padres to Pearl Jam to PGA Golf. And I like alliteration.