NL West parks: Advantage offense

The NL West has gotten a reputation for utilizing the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league.  That reputation might not be so well-deserved.  Here's a look at Baseball-Reference's park factors for the NL West stadia.  Bold indicates the high mark of the data set, and italics indicate the low mark.  Also, instead of showing the batting/pitcher park factor splits, I averaged the two for simplicity of presentation.

West 2009 Multi-year
AT&T Park 103.5 102
Chase Field 108 107
Coors Field 105.5 107
Dodger Stadium 94.5 99.5
PetCo Park 88.5 89
Average 100.0 100.9

Given that 100 is deemed neutral, it is interesting to note that the division's parks are playing at exactly neutral this season in spite of the blatantly manipulative ways of PetCo.  Looking at multi-year factors, three parks are strongly on the offensive side (including the two most offensive in the league), while Dodger Stadium has historically been pretty neutral, though it has been acting particularly squirrely this season.  How about we compare to the other NL divisions:

Central 2009 Multi-year
Busch Stadium 98 99
Great American Ballpark 104.5 104.5
Miller Park 97.5 100
Minute Maid Park 103 98.5
PNC Park 94.5 95.5
Wrigley Field 103 105
Average 100.1 100.42

 

 

East 2009 Multi-year
Citi Field 99.5 99.5
Citizens Bank Park 101.5 102.5
Land Shark Stadium 97 99
Nationals Park 101.5 101.5
Turner Field 101 99
Average 100.1 100.30


Check out the multi-year average among all divisions.  The NL West favors offense more than the other two divisions.  Granted, Coors Field and Chase Field are the top two offensive parks, which skews the numbers a bit, but PetCo does so in the other direction nearly by itself.  The NL West may have a greater range of ballparks than the other divisions by double, but overall it favors pitching no more than the other division.

Naturally, regarding the Rockies only, the picture changes slightly.  Eliminating Coors Field from the equation, the Rockies maintain the most pitching-friendly road schedule other than the Diamondbacks.



 

NL West Report

Arizona (59-72, 4th, W4, 19 GB)

Last Week4-2.  1-2 @ Giants.  3-0 vs Astros.  After winning just one of eight, the Diamondbacks have won four straight, their best streak since taking five straight at the Mets and Pirates in early August.

Pace:  73-88.

Divisional Change:  No change.

This Week:  4 game road series @ Dodgers, 3 game home road series @ Rockies.  If Colorado still wants the division title, Arizona could help out a lot by extending their win streak to eight before losing three in a row.

News:  Luis Gonzalez has officially retired, and now will have a role as the D-backs' new special advisor.  His retirement conference was Saturday.

AZ Snakepit includes a video interview in a game thread this weekend. 

Conor Jackson's future with Arizona is in doubt. Jackson went from the Diamondbacks' primary cleanup hitter last season to missing nearly the entire season with Valley Fever. Now, he might be non-tendered at the end of the season, forcing his comeback to come with another team via free agency.

Conor Jackson

#34 / Left Field / Arizona Diamondbacks

6-2

215

R

R

May 07, 1982

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Conor Jackson 30 99 8 18 4 0 1 14 11 16 5 0 .182 .264 .253

Script is flipped for D-backs catchers.  Miguel Montero has made the most of Chris Snyder's injuries as the new starting catcher for Arizona, which is making Snyder expendable.  Look for the Diamondbacks to look for a trade opportunity with Snyder, who received a three-year deal in the offseason.

Chris Snyder's injury forced the club to call up catcher-of-the-future John Hester, who responded by homering in first Major League at-bat.

Transactions: Optioned LHP Daniel Schlereth and OF Trent Oeltjen to AAA Reno.  Traded RHP Jon Rauch to Minnesota for a PTBNL.  Called up C John Hester and OF Chris Young.

Injuries: Activated OF Justin Upton and placed C Chris Snyder (back inflammation) on 15-day DL.  RHP Chad Qualls is day-to-day but might miss the rest of the season with a dislocated knee.  He will have an MRI in coming days.

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Byrnes hand 06/26/2009
Chris Snyder lower-back 08/23/2009
Scott Schoeneweis other-excused 08/10/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Conor Jackson pneumonia 05/12/2009
Brandon Webb shoulder 04/07/2009
News on the other three divisional teams after the jump.

Los Angeles (78-53, 1st, W2)

Last Week: 4-2. 2-1 @ Rockies. 2-1 @ Reds.  Los Angeles overcame an opening game loss to both series but overcame it both time to win both difficult road series as the Rockies dropped 5 of 6, thereby giving the Dodgersa comfortable cushion in the NL West.

Pace: 96-66.

Divisional Change: Gained three games on COL.

This Week: 4 game home series vs Diamondbacks, 3 game home series vs Padres.  LA has an opportunity to add to their lead by beating up on the two divisional teams that have been looking to future season for months. 

News: Dodgers Regain Control Of NL West.  If you're a masochist, check how TrueBlueLA responded to arguably the biggest storyline in the division.

The Nationals traded former Rockie Ronnie Belliard to the Dodgers

Ronnie Belliard

#10 / Second Base / Los Angeles Dodgers

5-10

215

R

R

Apr 07, 1975

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Ronnie Belliard 86 187 26 46 7 1 5 22 14 40 2 0 .246 .296 .374

True Blue LA reacts to the trade.

Belliard is not enough though.  LA wants to improve their bench with a power threat, preferably from the left side.  Kudos to Dan O'Dowd for scooping up Jason Giambi already, who is 7-for-16 wwith 5 BBs and 2 HRs in 5 games with Colorado Springs.

Peter Gammons doesn't like the Dodgers, citing their third starter and a trade deadline reliever as reasons for being a playoff team:

"If it weren’t for Wolf and the trade for George Sherrill, they would not make the playoffs."

Transactions:  Optioned IF Tony Abreu to AAA Albuquerque and called up RHP Vicente Padilla.  Acquired IF Ronnie Belliard from Washington for minor league pitcher Luis Garcia and a PTBNL.

Injuries: Transferred Jason Schmidt (shoulder) from the 15-day to 60-day DL.  LHP Ohman threw an inning in AAA Aug 26 and could return in mid-September.  Hiroki Kuroda threw a successful simulated game Saturday and should return within a couple weeks.

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Will Ohman shoulder 05/28/2009
Hiroki Kuroda concussion 08/16/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Doug Mientkiewicz shoulder 04/17/2009
Xavier Paul ankle 05/21/2009
Jason Schmidt shoulder 08/06/2009
Eric Milton lower-back 06/28/2009

Star-divide

San Diego (56-76, 5th, L2, 22.5 GB)

Last Week: 4-2.  2-1 @ Braves, 2-1 @ Marlins.  The Padres at least did their part in helping Colorado by winning both series against a couple Wild Card hopefuls.

Pace: 69-93.

Divisonal change:  None.

This Week: 3 game home series vs. Nationals, 3 game road series @ Dodgers. 

News:  Jake Peavy is having injury problems for the White Sox in AAA.  He took a line drive off his elbow August 24.  He then pitched Saturday and left after just 68 pitches with elbow soreness.

In related news, MLB.com's Adam Roseberg writes that the Friars reap Rich-ard rewards of trade.  Naturally, Richard went and got lit up for six runs in 2.1 IP against Atlanta after Rosenberg's column.  That's the nature of the Padre rotation this year.

Clayton Richard

#41 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres

6-5

240

L

L

Sep 12, 1983

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Clayton Richard 3-1 6 6 0 0 0 0 29.1 33 17 17 3 20 22 5.22 1.81

A member of GasLampBall, aptly named plunkeveryone, wrote a fanpost noting that  Kevin Kouzmanoff tied franchise record Wednesday.  He is now the Padres' all-time leader in HBP with just 35.

Here's a Q&A with outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr, who is the only player in MLB with his unique situation.

Transactions:  Recalled RHP Adam Russell, LHP Wade LeBlanc, and OF Drew Macias.  Optioned RHP Cesar Carillo to AAA Portland.

Injuries:  Placed RHP Mike Adams on the 15-day DL (shoulder) retroactive to Aug 22.  Adrian Gonzalez is day-to-day with a sore biceps in his throwing arm but singled in a pinch hit AB last night.  Kyle Blanks was set on the 15-day DL Saturday with a strained arch in his right foot.  He is in a walking boot and is eligible to return  Sept 13.  I know how that injury feels.  It's bizarre and annoying.

San Diego Padres Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brian Giles knee 06/19/2009
Edgar Gonzalez concussion 07/19/2009
Kyle Blanks foot 08/29/2009
Mike Adams shoulder 08/22/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mark Worrell elbow 03/27/2009
Cha Seung Baek forearm 03/30/2009
Shawn Hill elbow 04/26/2009
Chris Young shoulder 06/15/2009
Cliff Floyd shoulder 06/18/2009

Star-divide

San Francisco (72-59, t-2nd, W3, 6 GB in Div, t-1st in WC)

Last Week: 5-2.  0-1 vs Rockies.  2-1 vs Diamondbacks. 3-0 vs Rockies.  San Francisco took advantage of the first series of the season that Lincecum, Zito and Cain all pitched in to sweep Colorado and pull even for the wild card lead, a very commendable achievement after the gutpunch they received Monday night.

Pace:  88-74.

Divisional Change:  Gained 0.5 in NL West (LAD), gained 3 games in WC (COL).

This Week: 3 game road series @ Phillies, 3 game road series @ Brewers.  The Giants earned their way to top of Wild Card Mountain, and they'll have to continue to earn staying there.  The Rockies get to face two NL creampuffs at home while SF hits the road to face the World Champs and fading but strong Brewers.

News:  Jon Heyman tweets the Giants are interested in Brad Penny, along with the Marlins and Yankees.

John Perotto notes that the Giants are one of two favorites to land favorites to land Penny.

Fans cheer as Kent gets Giant honor, being enshrined in the Giant's Wall of Fame.  Said Kent:

"The only place I ever cared about and gave my heart to was San Francisco." - Jeff Kent

The Big Unit is willing to return as reliever.  After being on the 60-day DL for since July with a trapezius injury, Randy Johnson would be unable to contribute as a starter unless he had a long rehab assignment.  The Unit coming out of the pen is a wild card if ever there was one.

Randy Johnson

#51 / Pitcher / San Francisco Giants

6-10

225

R

L

Sep 10, 1963

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Randy Johnson 8-6 17 17 0 0 0 0 91.2 90 51 49 18 31 80 4.81 1.32

The Giants claimed Trevor Hoffman on waivers, though some have specualted it was more to prevent a team like the Rockies from claiming him.  Regardless, Hoffman appears to be staying with the Brewers.

Transactions:   Optioned Joe Martinez to AAA Fresno.  Recalled LHP Alex Hinshaw and IF Ryan Rohlinger.

Injuries:  Randy Johnson will throw from 90-100 feet Tuesday or Wednesday - the Big Unit hopes to return this season as a reliever. Rich Aurilia is set to come off the 15-day DL but indications are he won't join the big league club when he does.  Bengie Molina has been available to pinch hit and will likely return to the lineup at some point in Philadelphia from his torn right quad.  Freddy Sanchez will make a couple rehab starts and then return Sept 2.

San Francisco Giants Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Freddy Sanchez shoulder 08/18/2009
Rich Aurilia ankle 08/12/2009
Andres Torres hamstring 07/31/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Randy Johnson trapezius 07/06/2009
Noah Lowry ribs 03/27/2009
Kelvin Pichardo shoulder 06/28/2009
Henry Sosa shoulder 08/05/2009
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