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It’s official — baseball season is underway and the San Diego Padres had a good/bad start. With some young blood on the team and a fully recovered catcher Yasmani Grandal , fans can harbor some hope for upcoming games.
Geoff Young, a baseball writer for Padres Public, weighed in on what to expect from the team this year – in particular, what to pay attention to while analyzing players and games.
On this week’s podcast, Young chatted with VOSD Radio hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Caty Green about the players to watch and the Padres’ chances of making it to the playoffs. Download the episode below, or subscribe on iTunes for easy delivery to your smartphone.
Here are the takeaways from Young’s interview.
The player narratives will pull you in.
“I think Yasmani Grandal, who is the catcher, he has a pretty interesting story. Just in the last year, he blew out his ACL — his knee —and he wasn’t expected to be back for about nine to 12 months and he made back in eight months. And there was just a story that came out the other day over on Padres.com by Corey Brock, about how he actually rehabbed on his honeymoon by sprinting in the water in Bora Bora. So that’s kind of a cool story.
Our chances for the playoffs: iffy.
“It’s remote, not impossible. I mean, the Dodgers are going to be tough with that pitching staff, but I don’t see a clear favorite second team. You know, I’ve been saying that I’ve got the Padres at about a .500 Ball Club … well, the thing is there’s no great degree of certainty in that, so I would say plus or minus 10, which is kind of a meaningless number, because that means they could win 90 games or they could lose 90 games.
Obviously, if they win 90 games, then they’ve got a real good chance of doing something there, but the likelihood of that happening? Eh, I don’t know, 10, 15 percent maybe? More realistic is that if they win about half their games and hopefully keep some guys healthy and see some of the young guys make enough progress so that we have some hope for the future as opposed to, you know, just thinking about what might’ve been.”
But the data’ll give you an edge in baseball analysis.
“The most important thing to know about Sabermetrics is that it’s really all about how are you going to get the most contributions to your team. Really, the bottom line is winning, which it is in old-school analysis as well.
The only difference is the tools that we use to measure these things are a bit different than some that people may have been using 30 or 40 years ago. Whereas batting average and RBI with pitcher wins would have been a big deal back in the ’70s or ’80s, even probably a little bit more recently than that, nowadays, we are looking at more things like on-base percentage, slugging percentage for hitters… that sort of thing.”