Padres shouldn’t expect much from Piazza

The Padres filled one of their big holes this weekend, signing former Mets poster boy Mike Piazza to a one-year deal with options.

Piazza will have the opportunity to catch as much as he wants, and according to the Associated Press, the 12-time All Star hopes to catch 100 games while DHing during interleague play and getting a few innings in at first base.

The Padres, meanwhile, are constructing their lineup around Piazza next season. According to FoxSport’s Ken Rosenthal, Piazza will clean up in San Diego. But will he be any good?

Last season, for the Mets, Piazza was fairly good. In the weak field of NL catchers, Piazza had a 25.1 VORP, good for third highest. In 442 plate appearances, Piazza 19 home runs for the Mets but with a career-low OBP of .326 and a career-low slugging percentage of .452. Behind the plate, Piazza was abysmal, throwing out just 13 of 95 would-be base stealers for a Major League-worst caught stealing percentage of 13.7.

In San Diego, however, Piazza doesn’t stand to be any better, and in fact, he should be noticeably worse. PETCO Park, the Padres’ home field, is infamous for being a pitcher’s park. In fact, PETCO is a killer on right-handed batters. Last season, its home run index was 51 for right-handed batters. In other words, it was 49 percent harder to hit home runs in PETCO than in the rest of the parks in the National League.

Last year, playing in Shea Stadium, with an RHB-HR index of 86, Piazza hit 10 home runs at home in 202 at-bats. If he gets the same 202 at-bats in PETCO, it’s reasonable to estimate that Piazza would hit about 5 or 6 home runs. His doubles will decrease too. Additionally, PETCO’s Batting Average index is a 91, compared with 101 for Shea. Piazza, a lifetime .311/.382/.555 hitter, may very well hit .240 next year with an OBP under .320. Vinny Castilla hitting behind Piazza is no David Wright. Pitchers will challenge Piazza in San Diego knowing that the ballpark favors the guy on the mound and not the aging slugger at the plate.

Right now, the Padres are relying to Piazza to return them to the postseason, but their faith may be misplaced. Piazza, an old 37 with a weak arm, won’t have much luck throwing out base runners next year, and in PETCO, his offense will be largely neutralized. While the Padres and their fans may finally have the star they want to boost their lineup in Mike Piazza, this future Hall of Famer’s glow won’t be too bright in San Diego.

Advertisements

1 Response to “Padres shouldn’t expect much from Piazza”


  1. 1 Greg February 4, 2006 at 3:37 am

    I believe the Padres are more likely to finish last than first, and they are definitely the NL West most likely to have unpleasant surprises awaiting them when the regular season rolls around. Simply put — too many players are likely to decline, and almost none can be expected to improve. There is a lot of hoping — or misplaced faith — throughout that lineup.


Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • Game 74: A Sonny Saturday June 23, 2018
    The Yankees lost for only the fifth time in their last 22 games last night, and you know what’s crazy? Two of those five losses were by one run and the other three were by two runs. Even when they lose, the Yankees are in every game right to the end. Losing winnable games stinks, […] The post Game 74: A Sonny Saturday appeared first on River Avenue Blues. […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Saturday Links: Watson, Giambi, YES Network, Kay, Singleton June 23, 2018
    The Yankees and Rays will continue their three-game series with the middle game later this afternoon. Here are some links and notes to check out in the meantime. Yankees pursued Watson over the winter According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees tried to sign left-hander Tony Watson during the offseason. He instead signed a luxury tax […] The post Saturday Links: […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Rays 2, Yankees 1: A forgettable loss if there ever was one June 23, 2018
    Ugh, I hate that the Yankees only win most games and not all games. The Yanks dropped a completely forgettable series opener to the Rays on Friday night. Giancarlo Stanton made a great catch and … that’s it? Nothing else of note happened. The final score was 2-1. Sabathia Bends, Breaks Only A Little Pretty […] The post Rays 2, Yankees 1: A forgettable loss i […]
    Mike Axisa
  • DotF: Clarke Schmidt debuts following Tommy John surgery June 23, 2018
    MLB.com posted their midseason top 100 prospects list today. Three Yankees made it: OF Estevan Florial (No. 39), LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 42), and RHP Albert Abreu (No. 65). 2B Gleyber Torres and 3B Miguel Andujar are no longer prospect eligible while RHP Chance Adams, who was No. 66 before the season, has dropped out […] The post DotF: Clarke Schmidt debut […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 73: A Trip to the Trop June 22, 2018
    The season is nearly halfway complete, and the Yankees are just now making their first trip to Tropicana Field. Very weird schedule this year. I’m not complaining. The Trop stinks. Just pointing out the schedule is weird. First of three in St. Pete tonight. As for the Yankees, my goodness they are red hot right […] The post Game 73: A Trip to the Trop appear […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 6/22 to 6/24 Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays June 22, 2018
    For the first time this season, the Yankees will play in Tropicana Field. They’re in Tampa for three games this weekend. The Last Time They Met It seems like just yesterday that the Yankees hosted the Rays, but that’s not quite true; in fact, it was last week. The Rays visited the Bronx last weekend, […] The post 6/22 to 6/24 Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays a […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Yankeemetrics: Bomber Brooms, Seattle Sweep (June 19-21) June 22, 2018
    Domingo+Dingers=Win After a quick trip to the nation’s capital, the Yankees were back at the friendly confines on Tuesday night and opened their series with an easy 7-2 win over the Mariners. Domingo German was absolutely brilliant in his eighth career start. After giving up a run (unearned) in the first inning, he retired 19(!) […] The post Yankeemetrics: B […]
    Katie Sharp
  • Mailbag: Torres, Adams, Loaisiga, Gardner, Drury, Judge, Bundy June 22, 2018
    There are ten questions in this week’s mailbag. RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com is the mailbag email address, so send your questions there each week. Ryan asks: Any explanation for the power Torres is showing in the majors? I think I read he had only 24 homers in like 1,500 at bats in the minors. […] The post Mailbag: Torres, Adams, Loaisiga, Gardner, Drury, […]
    Mike Axisa
  • DotF: Wagner goes deep yet again in Tampa’s win June 22, 2018
    Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (3-1 win over Lehigh Valley) SS Tyler Wade: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 SB — 24-for-73 (.329) with five doubles, a triple, and two homers in his last 17 games … that looks a lot more like pre-2018 Tyler Wade 1B Brandon Drury: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K — second start […] The post DotF: Wagner goes deep yet again in Tampa’s win appeared […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Thursday Night Open Thread June 21, 2018
    ?Good game today, great series this week. The Yankees finished the three-game sweep of the Mariners this afternoon and they are now 28 games — 28 games! — over .500 on June 21st. Feels awesome. The 2018 Yankees are not perfect, far from it, but damn, is this team good or what? Great team and […] The post Thursday Night Open Thread appeared first on River Ave […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 62,703 hits
Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: