10 Men Out…well, most of the time anyways

After back to back seasons in which the team went 76-86 in 2012 and 2013, there were very little changes made to the 2014 Opening Day offense. Weird, right?

Now as we sit here on June 12th, the Padres are bad. Like really, really, really bad. Like you’d rather be violently ill than watch them swing a bat, bad. And in fact, FanGraphs even currently projects the Padres to finish, yeah you guessed it, 76-86 yet again. Consistency be thy name.

Lets take a look at some familiar names to the lineup from the past few years.

2012

Nick Hundley – 204 AB
Yasmani Grandal – 192 AB
Yonder Alonso – 549 AB
Everth Cabrera – 398 AB
Chase Headley – 604 AB
Carlos Quentin – 284 AB
Cameron Maybin – 507 AB
Will Venable – 417 AB
Chris Denorfia – 348 AB
Alexi Amarista – 275 AB

3,778 AB/5,108 Non-Pitcher AB – 74%
97 OPS+ (T-15th) *entire roster

2013

Nick Hundley – 373 AB
Yasmani Grandal – 88 AB
Yonder Alonso – 334 AB
Everth Cabrera – 381 AB
Chase Headley – 520 AB
Carlos Quentin – 276 AB
Cameron Maybin – 51 AB
Will Venable – 481 AB
Chris Denorfia – 473 AB
Alexi Amarista – 368 AB

3,345 AB/5,218 Non-Pitcher AB – 64%
97 OPS+ (T-14th) *entire roster

2014

Nick Hundley – 59 AB
Yasmani Grandal – 120 AB
Yonder Alonso – 208 AB
Everth Cabrera – 261 AB
Chase Headley – 166 AB
Carlos Quentin – 55 AB
Cameron Maybin – 106 AB
Will Venable – 181 AB
Chris Denorfia – 161 AB
Alexi Amarista – 105 AB

1,422 AB/2,036 Non-Pitcher AB – 70%
78 OPS+ (30th) *entire roster

3 Seasons – 8,545 AB/12,362 Non-Pitcher AB – 69%

The same 10 guys have consumed 69% of all the non-pitcher at bats over the past 3 seasons. Add Jedd Gyorko‘s 690 AB’s over that time frame to the list and the same 11 guys have accumulated 75% of the overall AB’s. For comparison, the Giants only have 9 guys on the offensive side who have been with the team since 2012, and they have gone 213-178, won a World Series and currently have the best record in baseball.

My point of this post isn’t to call out any particular player for their poor performance. And as much as I’d like to have a solution to the problem, I’m not a miracle worker. But my question is why has a very successful franchise made more changes to their roster than one that has been struggling terribly?

It just boggles my mind that a 76-86 offensive challenged roster goes unchanged for three seasons. In case you don’t know, 76-86 records aren’t exactly something you should be striving for and you should probably try to improve upon that.

With Hundley in Baltimore now, the group of 10 has shrunk to 9. With the Padres currently at 28-38, losers of 4 straight, holders of a -56 run differential and, according to ESPN, owners of a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs, we’ll see what Josh Byrnes does with this team. Status quo ain’t cutting it anymore, it’s time for some major changes to this roster.

Rick posts as RJ’s Fro at Padres Public every Thursday….unless it’s not Thursday.
I Tweet. I book the Face. I have even plussed the Google once or twice.

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  • Robby Deming

    I think there weren’t significant changes to the offense because your own research shows they were league average over the past two seasons. The pitching, especially starting pitching, was perceived to be our biggest need. And the offensive numbers seem to bear that out.

    I’d love to see a similar breakdown over the past few years with starters and relievers relative to ERA+. I know there’s been more churn there, but given the perceived problems of the team on those areas, that seems like a sound strategy.

    I’m not saying we have a group of All-Stars. But a league average offense isn’t necessarily a glaring red flag to me.

    • SDPads1

      Overall (SP/RP): 90 ERA+ in 2012 (T-25th), 87 ERA+ in 2013 (T-26th), 97 ERA+ in 2014
      (21st)…all below league average. So 3 seasons of below average pitching, 1 season below average hitting & 2 seasons of right at league average hitting.

      Do you think the outcome would be drastically different if the offense performed at league average levels this year?

      • Robby Deming

        First off, thanks for investigating this. This seems to matchup with my overall observations, particularly how bad the pitching was last season.

        If we had a league average offense this year, I think we could realistically expect to be about 5 to 10 wins better than we are right now. Games like Wednesday where we shutout the opposition for 8 innings and lose on a walk off seem like games we could be winning if we weren’t getting shutout once every six or so games.

        Would we be anywhere near the Giants? No way. But we’d likely be closer to .500 and possibly in the mix for a potential Wild Card.

        Again, thanks for all of the research. The numbers you’ve uncovered seem to suggest (at least in my opinion) that the team has focused on its area of greatest need in addressing the pitching. Few people could have foreseen a historically bad offense like this.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        But let’s look at team FIP:
        4.11 in 2012 (19th), 4.00 in 2013 (21st), 3.53 in 2014 (6th)

        Or SIERA, which is park adjusted:
        4.02 in 2012 (18th), 3.94 in 2013 (25th), 3.46 in 2014 (4th)

        So by those pitching isolated (and, in the case of SIERA, park-adjusted) stats, the Padres pitching is much better this year.

      • SDPads1

        Great stuff guys. I didn’t intend for this post to be about the pitching at all, but here it goes:

        SIERA

        2014 SP- 3.65 (8th) RP – 3.11 (3rd)
        2013 SP- 4.23 (26th) RP – 3.43 (16th)
        2012 SP- 4.33 (23rd) RP – 3.41 (8th)

        Judging by those numbers the Padres bullpen has been GREAT all three years with a slight up tick in performance this year. The starting pitching has been BELOW AVERAGE as we all know and can see from the numbers above. Everyone knows that the starting pitching needs to do it’s job before it can get to the bullpen, so this was a major problem.

        To see that the starting pitching has now landed into the ABOVE AVERAGE area is fantastic. However the only players to contribute on the starting pitching side that Byrnes acquired this off-season are Jesse Hahn and Billy Buckner. That’s right. 2 starts.

        So if you think 2 starts merits Byrnes to completely ignore a league average offense that finished 76-86 the previous two years then so be it.

        Basically my point without saying it was that I’m sick of seeing these same guys on offense year in and year out and if I have to watch the same 10 guys one more year I’ll probably rip my eyeballs out of their sockets and flush them down my toilet.

        I am a defeated soul right now.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        No fun for us Padres fans, that’s for sure. Kinda glad that it’s raining in New York so I don’t have to (it’s a chore) watch the game.

        I was just pointing out that, of the things that we thought were strengths coming into the season, at least pitching actually is (defense has had its lapses).

        Don’t forget that Byrnes ditched Volquez and got Kennedy at the end of last season; think you have to count that. He took a flyer on Josh Johnson, which we all hoped might pay off, and was looking good in spring, but as with most things Padres, it wasn’t to be.

        As for the bullpen being GREAT that last three years, being at the top of the bottom half (16th) last year doesn’t sound so sweet to me. Getting Benoit helped, and Torres…well, ah, yeah, sometimes he’s OK.

        The offense is truly offensive. Didn’t think they’d be this bad, but they are, with no end in sight. It sucks like a black hole.

      • FreakSammy

        “Black” hole? Is that a Bud Black Freudian slip?

      • Lonnie Brownell

        It can be, in the mind of the reader. Team Ambiguous here.