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May 9, 2014

Painting the Black

Go Fix Yourself, San Diego

by R.J. Anderson


Near the end of Geoff Young's Padres essay in Baseball Prospectus 2014, he concludes that San Diego's recent struggles "might indicate a larger problem, but it also could be terrible luck. Without closer scrutiny than publicly available information permits, it's impossible to know."

Young was writing about the Padres' poor results on recent long-term extensions (more on that here), but he could have been addressing the team's play since its surprise run in 2010. Three seasons have passed, during which San Diego has changed franchise players and general managers, yet the Padres have been unable to put it all together. This was supposed to be, if not the year, at least a preview. Josh Byrnes added the risky Josh Johnson to a promising, if largely untested rotation, and kept pending free-agent Chase Headley so his lineup could pass for tolerable. So far, the pitching staff has succeeded, even without the injured Johnson. The offense, however, has busted.

In fact, San Diego has the worst offense in the majors. The Rockies, the league's best hitting crew, have almost registered a higher slugging percentage (.502) than the Padres' OPS (.592). The Friars are tied for last in walk rate, and have an ISO similar to the punchless Royals. Even park-adjusted numbers produce a bad odor, as the Padres' .219 True Average is more than 10 points below the worst offense on record since 1950; the 1981 Blue Jays, who were led in plate appearances by Alfredo Griffin, owner of a .243 on-base percentage.

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Related Content:  San Diego Padres

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Call-Up: Rougned O... (05/09)
<< Previous Column
Painting the Black: Ri... (05/07)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Painting the Black: Bu... (05/16)
Next Article >>
Eyewitness Accounts: M... (05/09)

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