The San Diego Padres scored just one run on seven hits over the last two games of the Dodgers series. The home sweep to LA dropped San Diego to 22-15 overall, and questions of the team’s offensive prowess (or severe lack there of) are getting louder and more frequent. I thought it’d be a good time to take a look at the offense.
The Padres as a team are hitting .237/.320/.358. By wRAA, courtesy of FanGraphs, they currently rank 26th in offense, ahead of only the A’s, Pirates, Mariners, and Astros. To show who is underperforming or over-performing their preseason projections, I am going to look at each player’s current wOBA next to their rest-of-season wOBA estimate (by ZiPS) – which we’ll call True Talent wOBA.
|Player||PAs||Current wOBA||True Talent wOBA|
This shows us how each hitter is performing this season, relative to what our estimate of their true level of performance is. The biggest offenders, in terms of underachievement, are Hairston (Jerry), Cabrera, Blanks, and Gonzalez. Scott Hairston and Torrealba are playing well above their heads. Everyone else is hitting close to their true talent level, according to ZiPS.
That is kind of scary. I mean, the offense is struggling a bit, but frankly there just aren’t many great hitters on this team. Adrian Gonzalez is really the only guy who is a true above average bat. Scott Hairston, Headley, and Blanks are all around average. There are some big holes in the rest of the lineup.
What is important to remember, however, is that a position player’s job isn’t just hitting – they also have to field their position. So far, the Padres have been one of the best fielding teams in the league, by the numbers. They rank first in Dewan’s Plus/Minus at +37 runs, second in UZR (+17), and fourth in RZR/OOZ runs (+19). They have been led, defensively, by Eckstein, Headley, Gwynn, Scott Hairston, and Gonzalez. Note that it’s an extremely small sample size, especially for individual players.
There are really no holes on this team defensively. There are some question marks, sure. Can Blanks play solid defense in left for the long haul? I doubt that Eckstein is truly an above average glove at second, at this point. And we’ll see about Headley at third. But, overall, this is a pretty good defensive team. There’s really no position on the diamond where we are really sacrificing defense for offense.
In conclusion, yeah, the hitting has been bad. I doubt that it is going to get *a lot* better with this current roster. I mean, it’s not quite as bad as it looks, as Petco always obscures hitting to a degree. But make no mistake, the Padres are no offensive juggernaut, even when we consider that some players should improve as the season progresses. However, when we consider how good the defense is, well, things don’t look so bleak. A lot of the value being lost with the bats is being regained in the field.
I’m not against adding some hitters to this club; not at all. We just have to make sure we consider their entire game before we can make an accurate assessment on how much value they will add.