Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:

  • Baseball teams use in-depth data to win (Democrat and Chronicle) – Sean Lahman, of Lahman’s Baseball Database fame, pens a thoughtful piece on the current state of analytics in MLB and where it is headed next. As Houston Astros front-office staffer Sig Mejdal notes, “Sabermetrics used to give teams a competitive advantage. Now it’s just table stakes.” Of particular interest is how the Pittsburgh Pirates have used statistical analysis to inform their defensive positioning, pitch selection, and more. This is a fascinating read, as Travis Sawchik’s Big Data Baseball–referenced in the article and due out in May–also promises to be.
  • Pre-Season Predictions (Baseball Prospectus) – The Washington Nationals are the overwhelming favorites to win the World Series, though Jeff Long casts a vote for the Padres. Justin Upton and Matt Kemp receive minimal MVP support, while James Shields gets one third-place tally for the Cy Young award. FanGraphs has predictions as well, which you should also read.
  • Most Extreme Ballparks In The Minors (Baseball America) – Two California League locales make Matt Eddy’s list. The first is High Desert, home of professional baseball’s most extreme environment. I once asked a guy who had played in the league (he posted a sub-600 OPS over parts of two seasons) what his favorite ballpark was. He said this one, because he could hit a pop fly to shortstop and it would leave the yard. The other to make Eddy’s list is Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield, which serves as an excellent example of how not to build a stadium.
  • Ho-Hum, Another Preller Blockbuster (Padres Public) – Dustin gives his take on the last-minute deal that brought stud closer Craig Kimbrel to San Diego. As Dustin notes, A.J. Preller loves hard-throwing right-handed relievers. Kimbrel fits the bill and might be the best in baseball. The downside is Melvin “Kimbrel Tax” Upton Jr., who hit .198/.279/.314 over the last two seasons and is owed $46.35 million over the next three. Dustin also slings this sobering thought: “The future payroll commitments are getting a bit scary — $75 million is already locked up in the 2017 payroll, and almost all of it goes to three over-30 players and a flame-throwing closer.” Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs also weighs in on the deal, as do Baseball Prospectus ($) and Baseball America. Oh, and now the Padres have another pair of brothers.
  • Matt Vasgersian talks MLB Network, Padres, and chili fries with GLB (Gaslamp Ball) – I miss Matty V.: “2004 was fun because it was the first year at Petco, but 2006 was a blast. Having veterans like Mike Piazza, Boomer Wells and Woody Williams made the team feel legit… Chris Young had an amazing year, Mike Cameron was amazing to watch, that team was a lot of fun.”

Despite what you may think if you follow me on Twitter (or have read this prior post), I don’t hate Dick Enberg. The man is a broadcasting legend. It’s just that I believe play-by-play is no longer his strength.

I think that if the Padres and Fox Sports San Diego want to keep Enberg around, he may be more suited to host the pre- and postgame shows.

If they do decide to take Enberg off of play-by-play duties next season (or sooner), who would/should replace him?

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Yesterday I had the good fortune of driving around aimlessly for the better part of an hour. I say good fortune because it put me in the window of Darren Smith’s show (12-3 pm on the Mighty 1090) which I don’t get to listen to nearly enough. I was excited to hear Darren interview Matt Vasgersian who, incidentally, was kind enough to take part in a live chat with us here at Padres Public last week.

As Darren and Matty V finished discussing the peculiarly small size of Scott Kaplan’s head and the horse-like appearance of Billy Ray Smith they broke into a discussion about Padres Public and the live chat that occurred here last week. Whoa . . .

From the mouth of Matt Vasgersian:

There is a . . . uh . . . actually, fantastic blog . . .

Matty V says other things as well but allow me to bask in that compliment for awhile. A compliment like that completely justifies the times I’ve woken up at 4:30 AM to write about the sacrificial rites of the Aztec and the naming rights to my daughters’ pet fish.

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In case you weren’t paying attention…

Always enjoy responsibly. Don’t read and drive.

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Comment From Mo

what do you feel the real potential for yasmani grandal is?

Matt Vasgersian: I think the jury is still out as it is for alot of young guys attached to PED use. Personally I’m a big Nick Hundley fan and hope he can claim that gig full time.

Comment From Will
Padres fans are split when it comes to our Uniform preference. Do you like the current Blue scheme, or should the Padres go back to their Brown roots?

Matt Vasgersian: I like both … I just hate how boring the current logo is. If I had to pick one I’d say go back to the Brown. For some reason I also did the late 90’s uni’s that had the Orange accents

Comment From VM Nate
What is your impression of the current Padres ownership so far?

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