clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

On the value of not protecting your wares from thieves

I started writing this last night and somewhere near the end, I got bored with it. I figured I should just put it out there rather than let it fester in Gaslamp Ball Purgatory. Sorry if it tails off at the end...

So all this talk about needing a big bat got me to looking over the stats. During my search (which was kinda uneventful), one of the serendipitous things I realized is that I guess it doesn't really matter if we give up stolen bases all the time. This is where we're at in terms of stolen bases allowed:

Team SBA
San Diego 77
LA Dodgers 44
San Francisco 39
NY Mets 49
Chicago Cubs 40
Milwaukee 47
St. Louis 31
Arizona 37
Atlanta 48
Florida 45
Washington 32
Cincinnati 38
Colorado 34
Pittsburgh 48
Philadelphia 39
Houston 39

That's terrible, right? But really, what's a stolen base? It's a batter one base further along than before. Sure that sounds bad. If you're giving up a hit, you'd rather give up a base-hit than a double. However, if we're looking at how bad it is, we can look at the Padres total bases allowed...

Team TBA
San Diego 904
LA Dodgers 969
NY Mets 983
San Francisco 988
Chicago Cubs 1009
Milwaukee 1070
St. Louis 1086
Atlanta 1088
Arizona 1091
Florida 1123
Washington 1137
Cincinnati 1148
Colorado 1158
Pittsburgh 1168
Philadelphia 1202
Houston 1215

Look how awesome we are! Now the trick is (and I'm sure you see where this is going) if stolen bases are really just delayed extra base hits, then we can add them into Total Bases to start to get an idea of the impact of all these stolen bases on our total bases allowed total.

San Diego 981
LA Dodgers 1013
San Francisco 1027
NY Mets 1032
Chicago Cubs 1049
Milwaukee 1117
St. Louis 1117
Arizona 1128
Atlanta 1136
Florida 1168
Washington 1169
Cincinnati 1186
Colorado 1192
Pittsburgh 1216
Philadelphia 1241
Houston 1254

So basically, I didn't adjust for park factors or anything, but it seems to me that by just allowing these stolen bases to happen, the Padres are actually taking advantage of Petco Park. Seeing how much the park benefits pitchers, the idea is that we'll be able to get 3 outs before the guy gets all the way around anyway.

What else happens in a stolen base situation? We lose a double play opportunity. The thing with that is, in order to get a double play, you have to induce a ground ball. And looking at the numbers... Chris Young has a ground ball to fly ball ratio of .72. More simply, 58% of pitches that people manage to hit against CY end up in the air. Trevor Hoffman has a .68 ratio. Cla Meredith has some ridiculous ratio where everything he throws is ground balls, but honestly, he's not one to need double play opportunities.

The moral of the story: It's only a steal if they're actually taking something from you.