More to baseball than batting average, saves

Green says some statistics don't paint the entire picture

More to baseball than batting average, saves

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Andy Green recently discussed what he sees as the downside to two statistics -- batting average and saves.   

Don't get Green wrong. He sees value in both. But he also believes batting average and saves need to be looked at in a bigger picture. 

 "I just need a guy to get on base and score a run," Green said recently.  

"Batting average doesn't go up if you walk. That number doesn't go up if you get hit by a pitch or advance a runner or hit a sacrifice fly. That number doesn't tell the whole story. And for some reason it is the number on the scoreboard. It looks like it is the whole story. It's a part of the story."  

"And I think it's a part of the story that historically has been ascribed too much value. I'd love to have everyone on our team hit .300. But I want to have guys see the value in taking a walk, to be hit by a pitch to be willing to move a runner or move a guy over and not look at batting average as the be all and end all."  

"Sometimes I think it gets that value in some guy's minds. I'm not trying to get rid of the batting average. I just want my guys to see I'm as pumped by two walks as a triple. When they work the count and get on, I'm as pumped by that as when a guy drives a ball in the gap."   

"Taking walks, moving runners along, working the count, that's going to lead to winning baseball in the long run. That's the message I'm trying to send to guys. Batting average is one of those statistics that is not all that matters."   

Turning to saves, Green has the utmost respect for closers working the ninth inning to nail down wins. But right now, he can't set up his bullpen so that Brandon Maurer is used only in save situations.   

"I have a tremendous respect for anyone who comes into the back end of a game and gets the final three outs of a win," Green said. "That is not an easy thing to do."   

"But I do look at it from my perspective. I wonder how prudent it is to put in your fifth or sixth best reliever in a four-run game, wait until two guys get on base and then bring in your best reliever because it's now a save situation?   

"In my mind that doesn't make sense from a managing-the-game perspective. And I know there are a lot of great managers who have lived by that rule. And I know it'd be a lot harder to say if I were managing Trevor Hoffman and he had 500 saves that I wouldn't continue by that rule."   

"But we don't have that right now. We have to do what's best to win a baseball game immediately and not put Brandon Maurer into a dicey situation and say, 'Go save the game.' Let Brandon Maurer attack from a less stressful situation to increase the higher probability for a win."   

"I have tremendous respect for anyone who has stood on the mound in the ninth inning and locked down games, that is not an easy task. I'm just not going to be locked in that way. It is a radically different three outs and not everyone is wired to get those last three outs under high stress situations."   

GAME NOTES  

RHP Jarred Cosart allowed no runs on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in four innings in his first rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso Sunday. Cosart, who has been on the Padres' disabled list since April 19 due to a right hamstring strain, was credited with the win Sunday as El Paso (14-17) scored a 3-2 win in Nashville.   

Sunday's rainout was the third in 14 seasons at Petco Park and only the 17th home rainout since the Padres debuted in the National League in 1969. This was only the fourth rainout in San Diego since April 20, 1983. The previous rainouts at Petco Park were on April 4, 2006, and July 19, 2015. Six other Petco Park games had been delayed by rain.