Games! Data! La Forge! To celebrate the fact that the season is now 13 percent complete, here are 13 items of potential interest (stats are through April 22):
- The difference between the top of the order and the heart has been staggering. Guys in the first two slots have hit .297/.333/.436 (these numbers were even better when I started writing this), while 3 through 6 are at .194/.257/.291 (lowest OPS in baseball, nearly 70 points worse than the Houston Astros). That isn’t the best way to score runs.
- In an April 17 game at Petco Park, Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki drew three walks, or one more than Everth Cabrera and Will Venable have drawn combined in 158 plate appearances.
- In 44 plate appearances, Alexi Amarista has drawn more than three times as many walks as Cabrera and Venable. As others have noted, it’s hard to throw strikes to the 5’6” Amarista, although that hasn’t kept him from not drawing walks in the past.
- Jedd Gyorko has drawn eight walks in his first 21 games. As I said in BP2014, “He showed passable plate discipline in the minors, but his hacktastic approach in San Diego produced a vintage Khalil Greene season. In his first 53 games back from injury, Gyorko fanned 60 times against four walks. Recognizing the need to adjust, he walked nine times in his final 12 games, restoring hope for the future.” The walks are nice. Hitting baseballs (he’s at .141/.225/.225) would be a good next step.
- The Padres are last in walks with 47. Seattle is second with 48. #VedderDontWalk
- Xavier Nady’s first four hits of the season have been extra-base hits: three homers and a double. His previous two big-league hits were a triple and a homer for the Giants in 2012. Both came against the Padres. Nady’s last single came on September 25, 2012, against Arizona.
- Padres opponents stole successfully in their first 19 attempts. After Oakland’s John Jaso nailed José Altuve trying to swipe third on Sunday, the Padres were the only team that hadn’t thrown out any would-be thieves. They fixed that on Monday in Milwaukee, when Rene Rivera gunned down Ryan Braun in the fifth.
- Yonder Alonso has stolen two bases, making him 11-for-11 in career attempts. As Bill Center observed, among active players, only Alonso and Miami’s Christian Yelich have swiped 10 or more bases without being caught. Morse High School/SDSU alum Quintin Berry, currently in the Orioles system, is perfect in 24 big-league attempts (although amusingly 1-for-4 this year at Triple-A Norfolk).
- Chase Headley leads the National League in double plays. Grounded into, not turned. He’s tied for third in the latter.
- Before Headley’s two-run double against the Giants on Sunday, the Padres had been outscored, 10-0, in the third inning. After that outburst, the Blue Jays are the last team to have not scored a run in the third. The only other teams to get blanked in any inning are the Mariners and Indians (eighth) and the Astros (ninth).
- Nick Hundley’s solo blast on Sunday pushed him past Brian Giles into fifth place all-time with 29 home runs at Petco Park. Next up are Khalil Greene, Headley, and Venable (34), followed by Adrián González (60). Thank goodness for the 2005 draft.
- Between working in two of the team’s first four games and notching the extra-innings win on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, Donn “Break Glass in Case of Emergency” Roach appeared once in 17 days, throwing 18 pitches to close out an April 15 loss to the Rockies at Petco Park. Southpaw Jason Lane has a 2.52 ERA in four starts at Triple-A El Paso. Do I think he’s a big-league pitcher? Not really, but as Roach and others before him (hey there, Kevin Cameron) have shown, the 12th man on a staff is seldom needed. More intriguingly, Lane hit 26 bombs for the Astros in 2005 and knocked a pinch-homer on Tuesday. The Micah Owings experiment never materialized, but why can’t Lane be the new Brooks Kieschnick? Or heck, Jeff Francoeur threw a scoreless eighth for the Chihuahuas twice in three days. No disrespect to Roach, who did a great job after having been forgotten for so long, but he isn’t the home-run threat that Lane and Francoeur are. Am I serious about all this? Honestly, I’m not sure.
- The Padres have allowed 65 runs. That’s the fewest they’ve ever allowed through the season’s first 21 games, beating the previous low-water mark of 67 set in 1985. It’s also a marked improvement over 2012 (85) and 2013 (99).
There you go. Now do whatever it is one does with such knowledge.