With minimal payroll flexibility, the Padres need young players to improve quickly.
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade—whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
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Though it looks like a two-horse race in the NL West, even those players on losing clubs have something to play for.
In Phoenix, the Diamondbacks have skidded into a five-game losing streak after riding the heroics of a succession of first basemen (Brandon Allen, Paul Goldschmidt, Lyle Overbay... perhaps it is time to put in a call for Travis Lee?). In San Francisco, the Giants struggle to stay healthy, a problem that dogs all old people, not just those who play baseball for Brian Sabean's geriatric club.
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
No one expected them to contend until the last day of the season but what does 2011 hold?
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade— whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview of this season from Buster Olney, a take from Baseball Prospectus, a look toward a potential 2011 move courtesy of Rumor Central and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview. You can find all the teams on one page by going here.
Despite squandering their National League West lead, San Diego is still in position to get to the postseason.
On the morning of August 26, the Padres found themselves 6 1/2 games up on the second-place Giants in the National League West. The Friars had just finished off an 8-2 stretch that saw them push their playoff odds into the 90 percent and higher range, and with one game remaining in a series with the Diamondbacks, a three-game weekend series against the Phillies and then a slew of inter-divisional series, it looked as if they could finish off their playoff chase before anyone else in the NL.
The Padres' array of inexpensive and effective relievers offer a course in Bullpen 101.
Several months ago, Tommy Bennettpenned a paean to the economy and efficiency of the Padres’ bullpen. In retrospect, his choice of topic seems particularly prescient, given that the Padres had played all of three games by the time his article appeared. 135 games later, San Diego’s relief unit has outperformed even Tommy’s lofty expectations, supplying league-best performance at a fraction of the costs associated with other teams’ firemen. Despite their recent 10-game losing streak, the Padres sport a 78-59 record and the best run differential in the National League, and much of the credit for their success must go to the relatively unheralded men who compose their relief corps.
The Padres’ offense, while not quite the utterly anemic attack that Petco Park makes it appear, still rates as something less than a strength: the team’s .258 TAv ranks 13th in the NL. San Diego’s .02 PADE qualifies as an asset, but not a spectacular one, ranking fifth in the NL, and while the Friars have performed well on the basepaths, their speed hasn’t been a major factor behind their success.
The Padres are winning the National League West on a shoestring budget but the Pirates are last in the NL Central.
The matchup was quite ironic.
Two franchises, one in the process of rebuilding and just four losses away from an 18th consecutive losing season, the other thought to be in need of retooling but instead leading its division, clashed in a three-game series between the lowest-payroll teams in the major leagues last week at Petco Park in San Diego.
San Diego has used season-long momentum to lead the NL West along with other notes from around the major leagues.
Bud Black is a very astute baseball man. He was a deep thinker as a major-league pitcher then made his mark following his playing career working in the Indians' front office and as the Angels' pitching coach before being hired as the Padres' manager prior to the 2007 season.
The Reds and Padres are winning games now but will they still be relevant in September?
Back on April 4, when many of our writers made their staff predictions, not one person picked either the San Diego Padres or the Cincinnati Reds to win their division. The average ranking for the Reds put them fourth in the six-team National League Central, while the average Padres' ranking had them finishing last in the five-team NL West. The Reds did appear as high as second on a few ballots, but the Padres ranked dead last on every single one.