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:
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...
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.
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.